In last week’s entry, I shared with you four tips to get your legacy program off the ground. I hope you found it useful. I promised to elaborate on every point so here goes.
Tip 1: Get buy-in from senior management and the board (find allies)
Proposing a new fundraising program can be intimidating to senior management if it’s something that is unfamiliar to them or if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Legacy giving makes a lot of people uncomfortable – mainly because they don’t understand it (more on that for at a later post).
That is why it’s important to find that one member of your senior management team and/or your board who understands legacies and their potential as a long-term funding source and who will champion your proposal to start the program. Work with that person (or persons) to devise your proposal and implementation plan before presenting your proposal to decision-makers. This way, they can (1) start laying the groundwork to advocate for the program, (2) help you fine tune the structure and strategy, and (3) help you prepare responses to possible objections. Lastly, it will also help you build stronger relationships with them and it will ensure you always have an advocate for your legacy program.
Tip 2: Develop a legacy proposition
This step is a little bit more complex because it will involve other stakeholders in your organization. But first, why is a legacy proposition?
It is a short, simple, concise, and emotive statement that explains to your donors why they should consider leaving a legacy to your organization. Basically, what are you proposing to accomplish through their legacy donation.
This work should be done in consultation with various stakeholders (other fundraising colleagues, communications, board, senior management) in order to properly convey the feel and messaging. But ultimately, the decision on the final product rests on you, you wonderful legacy master!
I also recommend you test your legacy proposition with a few of your most dedicated and trusted donors. They will be a great sounding board to help you refine your proposition.
So what have been your challenges when starting your legacy program? Do you anticipate any push back? Have you already developed your legacy proposition and want to share it with the community?
As always, send me your questions and I will respond on a Thursday entry.
And come back next week when I address the last 2 tips shared in my microlearning video. Until then, have a wonderful week!