Legacy Fundraising Part 2: Are we targeting donors too late?

Most charities are targeting the over 60’s in their legacy programmes.

But is this too late? Firstly it depends what you’re looking for. Undoubtedly you’ll find more legacy ‘pledgers’ in the older segments on your database.  For one, they are more likely to have written a will.

 

legacy blog part 1 graph 1

 

And of course it’s important to understand who your legacy pledgers are in order to aid forecasting and also to ensure you can nurture them.  But  isn’t the real potential for a legacy fundraiser in speaking to those that that haven’t yet decided what charity to leave a gift to;  those that haven’t yet written their final will?

Look at the graph below.  A study by Xtraordinary in 2012 shows that more 23-49 year olds are considering leaving a legacy to charity than the 50+ age group. At 70+ the percentage of people considering a legacy gift drops significantly.

 

thinking about what they will leave

This is something we’ve seen when speaking with supporters on the phone too: the graph below shows a clear decline in interest with age. The older the donor the less likely they are to be open to consideration, to change their will.

 

2nd graph

 

The lesson here is to start the legacy conversation earlier,  before your supporters have written  their will, before they have decided which charity[s] to give to.

Bethan 

5 Things a 19th Century Folk Song Can Teach Us about Telephone Fundraising

As well as writing for Pell & Bales, I’m also a keen folklorist.  Recently, I noticed that one particular folk song works by using very similar principles to the ones I use when writing telephone fundraising scripts.

The song in question is a broadside ballad, historically written to relate news updates, generally with a particular viewpoint in mind.  People would only ever hear the song once, so it had to be immediately effective and memorable.

Sound familiar?

To get the proper experience, listen to this performance of the song through once now, before reading any further.

 

 

What stood out? How do you feel afterwards? Similar to how a supporter feels after they’ve had a fundraising call, I think. Powerful, wasn’t it?

But what exactly makes the song so effective? How can we use this to make sure our fundraising calls are just as powerful?

 

1. Keep the topic simple and the content focused

Firstly, the topic.

It’s so effective because, even from the briefest possible explanation, it’s obviously a bad thing. People died in a fire. There’s no room for doubt.

Remember, someone would only hear the song once.

It’s not the place for nuances, or for in-depth explanations about why something is in fact a bad thing.

You also might’ve noticed that the song didn’t go into a lot of detail – there wasn’t much in the way of set-up or context. The topic’s so simple, it wasn’t needed.

 

2.Tell in terms of an individual, personal story

Now, the content itself. What made the disaster so compelling and relatable?

It was all told through an individual story. (It was also particularly effective because that individual was a young girl, with her whole life ahead of her.)

Granted, some would say the story’s a tad on the melodramatic side, but that’s not a bad thing. When it’s only going to be heard once, it can’t be too subtle or it’ll get missed.

Noticeably too, it’s (mostly) just the one story, developed in steps over multiple verses. This keeps the focus, and builds on what’s been said already rather than having to start from scratch multiple times.

 

3.Use a strong image for each part of the story

How was that individual story told in such a compelling way?

You saw the whole thing.

It might’ve been told only using words, but every stage of the story was based on a very powerful, striking image.

This is made possible by the simple and focused subject matter – a strong image can get across most of what needs to be said.

By anchoring the emotions of each stage of the story with an image, those emotions will stay with you.

 

4.Don’t let statistics distract from the main story

Do you remember how many died overall?

The answer here is “too many”. That’s the key thing.

The song does give a number, but the number isn’t what sticks. It’s the individual story.

The figure itself was very unobtrusive – a simple, rounded number, just indicating the scale. You didn’t have to stop and think about it, so it didn’t distract from the impact of the story.

One identifiable person is enough. When listening, statistics don’t have much impact unless they’re in immediately relatable terms.

 

5.Provide a clear, socially proved call to action

Lastly – what was the song aiming to achieve?

On the surface, it’s to inform people about the disaster, but really it’s to inspire action. In this case, forming a certain opinion.

So which part was the call to action?

It’s the chorus. It repeats, so it gives the listener a few chances to respond. It’s essentially the same, but each time the verse has developed it further, and it follows logically. Each time, it works as a focus, a clear summary.

It might not be asking for a direct response, but it is aiming to motivate you to do something. Implicitly, it’s asking you to agree.

The way it asks is also particularly effective: to join someone else who’s already doing something positive and affirming. This is social proof.

Tom

Copywriter

Legacy Fundraising Part 1: Where are we going wrong?

Speaking at conferences recently with Stephen Butler, we challenged legacy fundraising managers to consider whether their current selection models work and whether they are truly able to target their best legacy prospects.

I asked them: ‘Would you have found Pippa?’

 

pippa

Meet Pippa, a fictional character sitting on the database of cancer charity X:

  • She is 48 years old
  • She has no children
  • She gives just £2 a month and has done so for under 2 years (from what the database tells us)

…perhaps not looking like the best legacy prospect?  Let’s consider a few more things about Pippa before we judge…

  • She has a history of cancer in her family
  • Sadly she lost her husband to cancer
  • She believes everyone should leave something in their will to a charity
  • Charity X is her favourite charity
  • She trusts Charity X explicitly
  • She believes without doubt that Charity X will achieve their vision of beating cancer

An ideal legacy prospect? Of course! She is exactly the supporter you want to speak to (for those sceptical about her age – hold that thought, I’ll come back to that next week).

But would your selection model have found Pippa?

The likely answer is no. The problem is, most charities don’t have access to nor do they use attitudinal data.   And the criteria they do use to determine legacy propensity is based on transactional data and giving history, which can be too prohibitive. We are discounting people because they ‘haven’t been on the database long enough’ or they are ‘too young’.

The answer is to start collating the attitudinal data on supporters and build a model around the information you capture. The easiest way to do that is via surveys. (There are some really clever surveys out there, get in touch or follow future blogs to find out more).

Bethan 

We’re recruiting….

We’re looking for a passionate, world class Account Manager to join the growing team at our London HQ. You will manage a portfolio of charity clients large and small, including many of the UK’s favourite charities, supporting them across a diverse range of programs from Acquisition, Loyalty and Legacy fundraising and anything in between.

With over 20 years experience and our first £BILLION for charity under our belt, new team members can expect to experience unrivalled development and career progression working within a forward-thinking, innovative environment. Don’t take our word for it –  check out all these fabulous people that all started their careers here with us– we must be doing something right!

The lucky candidate will find themselves working in a true fundraising environment full of passionate people dedicated to innovation and excellence. This makes working at P&B a fun, buzzing, dynamic, sometimes crazy but ultimately rewarding place to work.

If you have fundraising and client servicing super powers to share, are passionate about changing the world, thrive when working in a fast-paced environment and are a strong team player then drop me a line at info@pellandbales.co.uk with Account Manager Vacancy in the subject line and we’ll send you more details about the role and how to apply.

We’re on a mission to save the world here at Pell & Bales and now you could be part of it too.

Closing Date: 6th February 2015  

I can’t wait to hear from you, Bethan 

@bethanalys

Great Donor Relationships: Make it personal but don’t take it personally

What’s great about speaking to supporters over the phone is that you can, as a fundraiser, judge the relationship between the supporter and the charity in real time.

Their reaction to the fundraising ask is instant, so you get a true sense of how the donor feels about being contacted, how they feel about the charity and how they feel about being asked for support.

In the same breath, you can also use the telephone to engage and inspire supporters to strengthen that relationship even further.

Here are my 5 top tips to building great donor relationships:

Be friendly and polite

This might sound obvious but it’s easy to forget when, as a fundraiser, there’s so much more to remember to do and say!

The key is to have an inspiring conversation. What you’re talking about might not be nice, but having a friendly conversation about a subject you’re both passionate about certainly is. If you’re inspiring and if they’re able to say yes, they will.

Make it personal

Say the specific things that you have to say in a way that’s natural for you in the conversation. Add questions where it feels right and emphasise the parts the supporter is most passionate about.

But don’t take it personally

Some supporters are chattier than others. If they’re not very talkative, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. They might just want to listen, so don’t get disheartened.

Don’t just ask for money

Even calling about Gift Aid or something else more administrative can be a great opportunity for an inspiring conversation. Or you can speak to supporters at every step of their own fundraising journey.

We loved using this approach for Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s London to Cambridge bike ride event: supporters were contacted just after registering for the event to see if they’d like to set up their own fundraising page, and again at the end of the event to thank them for their support.

Most of all, say Thank You

Start and end by saying thank you – for previous support, for a nice conversation, hopefully for a new regular gift.

Some of the most loyal, passionate supporters can’t say yes, but they will as soon as they can. It’s so vital to be grateful for that loyalty and passion, not to mention any financial support.

Fundraising calls can be about so much more than asking for money, and having these sorts of great conversations builds great donor relationships.

Tom

Copywriter

#Proudfundraisers in work and play


xmas party 5

It was great to see our telephone fundraisers chat with our charity partners at our Xmas Party this week.  

 Lot’s of our fundraisers shared their favourite experiences of speaking to charity supporters throughout the year; and, for me  – the highlight of the night was hearing some of our fundraisers offering their tips to enhance conversations with supporters.

 In the same year that the IOF’s #proudfundraiser campaign was launched, last night reminded us again of how proud we are of our fundraisers; and more to the point – how proud they are of  speaking to thousands of charity supporters each year.

Bethan 

We’re recruiting for our next star Account Manager – want to join us?

We’re looking for a passionate, world class Account Manager to join the growing team at our London HQ. You will manage a portfolio of charity clients large and small, including many of the UK’s favourite charities, supporting them across a diverse range of programs from Acquisition, Loyalty and Legacy fundraising and anything in between.

With over 20 years experience and our first £BILLION for charity under our belt, new team members can expect to experience unrivalled development and career progression working within a forward-thinking, innovative environment. Don’t take our word for it –  check out all these fabulous people that all started their careers here with us– we must be doing something right!

The lucky candidate will find themselves working in a true fundraising environment full of passionate people dedicated to innovation and excellence. This makes working at P&B a fun, buzzing, dynamic, sometimes crazy but ultimately rewarding place to work.

If you have fundraising and client servicing super powers to share, are passionate about changing the world, thrive when working in a fast-paced environment and are a strong team player then drop me a line at info@pellandbales.co.uk with Account Manager Vacancy in the subject line and we’ll send you more details about the role and how to apply.

We’re on a mission to save the world here at Pell & Bales and now you could be part of it too.

Closing Date: Wednesday 12th November 

I can’t wait to hear from you, Bethan 

@bethanalys