Starting the new year by reflecting on and learning from what went well and not so well, is the perfect way to focus on the right priorities for the coming year.
We are grateful for the guest blogs, interviews and fascinating conversations about legacy fundraising that we had on legacygiving.eu. One of our highlights of 2022 was taking over the coordination of the Legavision network from Theo Hesen. Legavision is an international network of national legacy campaigns. Across numerous markets, these awareness campaigns are essential drivers for making legacy giving a social norm.
We look forward to 2023 and have drawn up 3 new year’s resolutions (with a legacy twist!) that we would like to share with you:
1. Integration within the existing donor journey
Legacy fundraising largely consists of drip-drip communication within existing donor communication. Consider, for example, legacy fundraising content within your donor newsletter. However, communication with the supporters is constantly changing, and as legacy fundraisers, we do not always take full advantage of all opportunities. Our intention this year is to take a closer look at the general donor journey with all its various touch points and zoom in on every donor engagement from the donor’s perspective. Think of email, Direct Mail, a loyalty survey, etcetera. It’s like an internal audit: What does this look like, who is the target group and are there untapped opportunities to integrate the legacy proposition? Be aware that successful integration is only possible with sufficient internal support for legacy fundraising. This brings us to our next resolution:
2. Internal buy-in
A legacy program is only fully successful if the entire organisation supports it. When our colleagues understand how important legacies are for the organisation that we actively and intentionally fundraised for. If our colleagues are aware that they too play a role in this – then a program can flourish. Stimulating internal support and creating a ‘legacy culture’ within the organisation is, therefore, one, if not the, most important resolution.
Think of this as an internal marketing campaign. An (internal) campaign requires us to consider who our stakeholders are. That we include the campaign in our annual plans, link objectives to it, and even budget for it. How you approach it and which activities you can set up depends on your organisation and what suits your target group (your colleagues) best. Think about internal training or organise activities (ranging from a legacy quiz to coffee moments) for example on 13th September – International Legacy Giving Day. Include it in your onboarding program for all new colleagues or identify internal ‘legacy ambassadors’. There are so many different ways and best-practices – but one thing is crucial to all of them. Don’t let it be a one-off, make it an ongoing part of your legacy program.
3. The new target groups: Baby Boomers, Shadow Boomers and Gen X
It is essential to regularly review our communications and see which generations are most relevant to us because there is a generational shift happening. Organisations now receive the greatest proportion of legacies from the Silent Generation (born before and during the Second World War), but in communications about legacy giving, we must focus on younger target groups. This is absolutely crucial, given the time lags between the idea (‘I’d like to leave a legacy’) and action (‘I’ve included a charity in my will’); and final administration and payout.
Who are those generations? How can we best communicate with them about gifts in wills? What do we know about their values and attitude to life?
Many organisations are already focusing on the next generation: the Baby Boomers, but the following generations, like the Shadow Boomers and Gen X, are becoming relevant. Of course, we already know more about the Baby Boomers. They have more affinity with legacy giving and are more often childless. But they also have a critical attitude and want transparency, clear impact, and control.
Many organisations do not yet focus on the Shadow Boomers (born around 1960 and later and called the ‘lost generation’ in the Netherlands). The Shadow Boomers grew up with freedom and a good education but had to find their way in life in the economic crisis of the 1980s. They are practical and modern in communication. Often in the last phase of working life. And also called the ‘sandwich generation’ because they often take care of their elderly parents but still have children living at home or studying.
We are curious about your legacy giving intentions! Let us know at email@example.com.
We wish you a happy and successful 2023!
Elly Lont & Lena Vizy, January 2023