Why do so many charities seem to “copy the big ones”? It is interesting to note that many of the largest charities in the UK have NOT witnessed growth in legacy income in the last five years. And yet legacy income has almost doubled in 13 years for the sector with a doubling of charities benefitting. But I hear of many charities searching the big websites assuming a copycat approach will gain a fortune. Not wise.
Why are legacies left? Personal experience, and proof of impact. Do charities assume truck loads of legacies are left by “the public”? Not wise. Focus on your loyal supporters. Every legator has an important connection – but the charity might not be aware of that connection.
Why do charities assume a legacy brochure is the essential tool? Anyone searching for legacy information has already expressed an interest and wants a simple answer “How do I do it”. A brochure is not needed, just a call to action with a simple emotional nudge of one story and proof of future impact from their gift +financial prudence. A legacy brochure? Not wise.
Why do charities create so many barriers to action by asking prospects “to work out what they are worth and what they own NOW before making their Will”. This is enough to make any prospect STOP action. What is more, it is information which is unnecessary. By the time you die you might well NOT own what you own now. Is that wise? Not wise.
Why do so many charities provide the wording for a Will when the Fundraising Regulator says that charities cannot give legal advice? It is like a lawyer telling a fundraiser how to fundraise. Not wise.
Why do so many charities assume a free Will (or a discounted one) is the silver bullet to legacy giving? We should only be interested NOW in 55+ year olds who have some asset(s) to leave. MOST of them have a Will but it might be out of date. Most baby boomers I am listening to say “a special offer will lack quality”. Not wise.
Why do some charities assume prospects are stupid? Current prospects are bright baby boomers who have been in business. They need to be treated with respect. They are wise and inquisitive. Telling them about why a Will is important is not wise. They know, they just need a call to action.
Why do so many boards and SMTs ask such ridiculous questions such as “how much are we going to get and when?” Do your trustees know when they are going to die and how much they will be worth when they do? Not wise.
Why are so many legacy campaigns delayed? Because trustees/boards so often suffer from a serious condition: short termism. Whatever happens after they have gone (retired as trustees rather than died!) is of no interest. Not wise.
Why invest in legacies? Because the return on investment is huge. Around 48:1. WISE. It is the fastest growing source of income. WISE. It is SO perfect for older people – there is no transaction now. WISE.
I have been in the legacy world for over 30 years and have never witnessed such an incredible interest in legacy giving until now. Do not miss out: give your charity the best vaccine for future financial health. WISE.