I have just got back to my hotel room from giving a legacy seminar in Canada and this question was raised by a delegates:
“Have I got this right? You are saying make it easy?”
Recently I have given masterclasses in Australia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria and of course in the UK. Similar questions were asked.
My answer: YES OH YES OH YES. Easy easy easy.
Why do we make giving donations so easy for donors and legacy giving so complicated for legacy donors.
The biggest barriers we “offer” prospects is making a legacy hard to do. Action to make a legacy can be as quick and easy as making a donation.
But NO – most charities are stuck in the historical rut of asking them loads of questions:
- How do I make a Will?
- How do I change a Will?
- Do I need a solicitor?
- How should I word my Will?
- How do I plan what I give to everyone?
- What is a legacy?
- Are there tax benefits?
- What do information do I need to prepare before seeing a solicitor?
(Can you imagine, when communicating about donations, asking them to consider how much they earn, take into consideration their outgoings and what is affordable and whether they would prefer a monthly or regular donation or a one off donation and make sure all your bank details ready etc etc)
Excuse me for asking, but are charities pretending to be legal advisers or, as employees, should you be passionate people trying to ENCOURGE PROSPECTS to take action, NOT prevent it.
Why is it if you want to give a donation there is an instant call to action? But for legacies loads of questions are asked which just encourage prospects to delay action and wait another day.
This is totally bonkers. We all want easy action for anything we might like to do whether it is ordering a takeaway meal or a birthday present. I have even got to the stage of yearning for Amazon to give legacy giving offers – done in 24 hours!
Legacy prospects NOW are nothing like past generations. Past generations of legacy donors just gave. They were mainly widows who put an animal charity, the church and a cancer/heart legacy in their Will in minutes because those were their “connected charities” (over 80% were single females 30 years ago). Now it is 60% females and 40% males. So, both genders are equal prospects.
NOW we are addressing baby boomers and to quote my favourite communicator, Tom Ahern: “Boomers are the largest cohort of donors ever seen on earth…. so, DO continue to casually stereotypically insult them: it makes it so much easier to tell which charities are idiots”. Spot on Tom.
Now please consider this: Your best prospects are at least 55+ years old. They have assets. They have worked. They are intelligent. They are living longer than they expected and often have complicated family demands. But they care, they are prudent. They are investment investigators. They are wise.
Stop treating your prospects as idiots. This is a generation of philanthropists – the only barrier is this: they might not have thought of giving a legacy. Tell them how easy it is and they WILL.
Richard (who is increasingly frustrated at the lack of courage of charities to change their past habits)