There is no denying – the world we are living in right now feels a bit bonkers. As a rule, I do not want to contribute to anyone’s fears or anxiety – we all deal with stress differently. Instead, I would like today’s post to be honest, positive, solution-oriented, and filled with gratitude.


 Some are saying what is going on is unprecedented. I disagree. This is not the first world crisis we have lived through.


Our donors have lived through two World Wars, countless economic, health, and humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and on, and on…


But you know what happens after the dust settles? Life goes back to normal. Hopefully some of us come out the other side a little wiser, a little softer around the edges, and a whole lot more understanding.


And this is what’s going to happen to us after this health crisis is over. We need to believe it will. 


So in the meantime, how are we going to continue doing our very important work? Gifts in wills continue being integral part of an organization’s diversified fundraising program. Priorities have had to shift as events were cancelled, face-to-face and direct mail are closed or significantly scaled down, and everyone and their uncle are looking at digital and DRTV as acquisition channels.


What about your legacy program?

How can you keep your legacy program alive and continue engaging with your donors while you’re practicing social distancing?


Here are some of my top tips:

  1. Get calling: This is a fabulous opportunity to call your donors to check in on them, see how they are coping (I mean, let’s not forget they are the ones most at risk), share with them some tips (bring value to the call). Basically, remind them why you are a great charity and continue to be worthy of their support, current and future.
  2. Virtual everything: most of you may think legacy donors are not tech savvy enough to manage simple video conferencing services like Zoom. You’d be surprised! Give it a try, you might be surprised. Look at doing virtual town halls with your program people, with the CEO or with other legacy pledgers.
  3. Pledge confirmation calls: I strongly recommend legacy officers to invite donors to confirm their pledge by completing a Commitment Form***. This form asks pledgers to provide, in complete confidence, the name of their chosen executor, the terms of the legacy, who they want to be notified of the impact of the gift, how they want their gift to be recognized, the gift designation, and finally if they have a message for future generations. It’s a great tool to help you know exactly what the donor’s wishes are. The reason why getting this form completed is important is because research has demonstrated that individuals actually come through with their promises when they write them down.
  4. Report on impact: haven’t sent out a legacy newsletter or a simple donor impact report in a while? Well here’s your chance. People are home, probably going a little batty and thirsty for something to read after binge watching all six seasons of Grace & Frankie! Your Donors Impact Report in their inbox or mailbox will be a welcomed change.
  5. Conversion follow ups: this is also a great opportunity to follow up on those enquirers that requested a legacy brochure from your six months ago, or that donor that is considering their decision. Show them you are there to answer their questions and provide them with more information if needed.


At the end of the day

Social distancing DOES NOT mean donor distancing. Seize this opportunity because not all will be lost and it will feel so good to connect with your donors.

Do you have any fresh ideas you’d like to share with the GlobetrottingFundraiser community? Share your ideas in the comments section below ??

Remember, your work is important and your program beneficiaries need you to continue forging ahead so use that to keep you motivated.

Be healthy, be happy, and take care of yourselves.


P.S.: Do you want to have the Pledge Commitment Form? Head over to the Contact Us page and send me a short message asking for it. It will be my pleasure to send it to you.

Pin It

Leave a Comment