How to identify your Legacy Pledger’s and Prospects Quickly, Efficiently and Effectively

To mark the end of ‘Remember a Charity’ week,  we have a guest blog  from Stephen Butler, Director at Xtraordinary Integrated Fundraising. Stephen shares with us a fab case study of a cross continent, multi-channel approach to legacy marketing;

WSPA, the international animal welfare charity recently tested a new approach to legacy marketing with us. The activity, carried out across three WSPA legacy offices (Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia), started with a survey, which was developed to allow donors to self- identify their legacy giving potential through scoring. In addition the survey also allowed WSPA to :

  • Update and complete demographic data
  • Discover donor motivation and opinion of WSPA and their mission
  • Uncover areas of interest for donors
  • Open the door to more personalized communication between WSPA and their donors
  • Identify major donor potential

Step 1: Online Survey

Although online may seem an unlikely channel for planned giving, the survey works because this is not a planned giving ask. That ask can only come when the time is right and a survey, be it online, mail or by phone, is not that time or place.

The survey was sent to almost 13,000 individuals across the three countries with a total response rate of 21%. Of those that responded;

  • 399 Pledger’s (donors who have already left a gift in their will to WSPA) were uncovered (15% of those responded, 0.03% of those who received the survey)
  • 877 Legacy Prospects (donors who have a high propensity to give a legacy) were uncovered (33% of those responded, 6.8% of those who received the survey)
  • Where the question was included, 2.64% also showed propensity to become a major donor

online surveys and results

Sept 2: Survey in Other Channels and Follow up

The legacy prospects are now being cultivated via a bespoke program designed to build on the interest shown by these donors. The exact content of the stewardship programme reflects the internal capacity of each office but includes mailings, invitations to events, digital communications, events and face to face visits.

The survey has also been developed on the telephone and in-mail in order to reach those donors that did not respond or were not reachable online. So far, and where this has been tested, response rate to the mail survey was lower than online but still very respectable at 15.2% and both telephone and mail surveys found a lower bequest rate (2.7% and 4.7% respectively)

We are yet to see how many of the prospects will convert to Pledger status, but even at this stage in the journey it is clear that this approach to identifying prospects is more personal, effective and efficient that what WSPA had used before. And the biggest advantage is that the model allows the donor to identify themselves as a prospect rather than the charity using modeling or data analysis to make assumptions as to who is a good prospect.  This project has allowed WSPA to move away from mass marketing legacy messages and towards bespoke and targeted messages directed only at high prospect legacy leads – and the opportunity to begin a relationship on a more personal level with them.

Thanks for Reading, Stephen.”