I have not a clue how you all are. And you have no idea how I am. But one thing is for sure: none of us knows when the end is for this bloody virus!
Second spike? Winter spike? Third spike? Where can we go and where can’t we go and with whom?
During the virus, lifetime fundraising/donating is easy compared to legacy giving. If you want to donate you can do it in an instant and, currently, there is a huge amount of empathy for charities.
Legacy income will not be gained for years to come and everyone WANTS MONEY NOW. And, yet again I will state up to 1 in 3 baby boomers are putting charities in their Will at a time they dare not risk increasing their lifetime giving due to financial uncertainty.
Legacies are a form of protection: protection against any future pandemic/cashflow problems. In this current moment of short-term panic, they are often considered to be trivia, not treasure.
Legacies are seen to be a worthless investment NOW when they are the highest worth in the future.
Short termism rules. Any trustees ignoring legacy giving now should re-consider their role which is not only for the NOW.
Prudent leaders plan, bad leaders react with unconsidered gut instinct.
A gut reaction to a situation is based on a person’s instinct and feelings, rather than on a logical analysis.
Guts are needed. The guts to consider future needs of beneficiaries to ensure they do not suffer in future emergencies.
With so many staff furloughed charities are cut to the bone. You could argue that if trustees had approved an ambitious legacy strategy in the last 10 years then they would be sitting back happy and with a far healthier income and serving those in need more effectively.
Unlike lifetime giving (when a direct ask must be made for a response) legacy giving can be integrated at NO cost. An information campaign on legacies gives everyone the freedom of choice to do it. No risk – massive benefits.
Fundraisers are in a difficult position. Oh, how I wish they/you could say “It is not a matter of letting me do it. Just try stopping me”. But they/you can’t.
When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen and those who wondered what happened?
Which category do you or your trustees belong to?
For charities who have ignored legacy promotion the future is scary. For charities relying on short term statutory grants the future is scary. For charities relying on retail/membership/tickets the future is scary.
For charities who have made a sustained investment in a legacy campaign the future is less scary.
BUT the universal issue wherever you are as a fundraiser in our fragile world is: how long will this last? We have no idea.
BUT what we must remember is that this is a key moment when more people are making Wills than ever before.
The virus makes us think of our future.
Wills help protect the future of those closest to us.
Legacies protect charities during an emergency, and beyond.
Get on with it before the end of the virus comes.