Key facts you should know about legacy giving

Attending and presenting at conferences around the globe and visiting our offices in different markets has exposed me

Attending and presenting at conferences around the globe and visiting our offices in different markets has exposed me to interesting insights that have made me reflect on what impacts legacy giving. Whether you’re a seasoned legacy professional or just starting out, these insights will help you be more effective and responsive to your donors’ needs.

Here goes:

  • The number of people in most developed legacy markets are increasingly leaving gifts in their will. As more organizations develop legacy marketing, it helps to normalize donor behaviour in a way that positively impacts legacy revenue. In addition, some national legacy umbrella campaigns like Remember a Charity in the UK, Goed Natalen in The Netherlands or Legado Solidario in Spain are having great success in changing donor’s understanding of gifts in will. Being part of those campaigns can really help boost your own organization’s legacy program. Our job is to continue normalizing the legacy conversation.
  • Leaving a gift in a will is not about death, it’s about life. It’s an emotional act that reflects the values that your donor cherished throughout her life. Her gift is an extension of those values and you are entrusted to honour them. It is not something to be taken lightly.
  • Understanding the barriers to leaving a gift in a will is of vital importance. Whether your donor is concerned about having enough money in the event of an illness; a desire to take care of children; or if it is not part of your donor’s social mores, you must understand your donor’s barriers as much as their motivations in order to carefully craft the right ask for your different donor segments.
  • Most legacy gifts will be small. Indeed, the multi-million legacy gifts we sometimes hear about are more an anomaly than the norm. Meaning we need to normalize small legacy gifts from normal, every day donors. Chasing the elusive legacy gift from high net worth individuals will only send you spinning in all kinds of directions while you have regular and generous donors right under your nose.

If you have observed other legacy facts that should be added to this list, share them in the comment sections.

So go ahead, divide and conquer those legacy gifts without fear and with complete confidence!

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