Friday, September 3, 2010

The link between in memory and legacies?

When I attended the Institute of Fundraising Convention in July I listened to some interesting stuff about the link between gifts made in memory and legacies (bequests).

Makes sense.

People are making a gift in memory of someone they care about. They are in that head space.

So we've recently been doing some legacy prospecting with one of our clients. Generated a chunk of new confirmed legators through the advent of online/offline surveys (with some follow up activity).

And guess what? One quarter of them had an in memoriam relationship with us. No other financial history, simply made a gift in memory.

It's fair to say this at the heart of legacy approaches for many organizations. Take Cancer Research UK for example. Check out the placement of their legacy and in memoriam asks within their website.

Coincidence? I doubt it.

I'd suggest looking closely at those who have left you that lasting gift and those that have planned to.

In memoriam programs are often the poor cousin of the fundraising mix. Usually because we don't really know what to do with them.

All is not always what it seems. There may be more value there than you think.



Anonymous said...

totally agree....the link is now so much clearer, anecdotally and with evidence. Check out the NSPCC micro site that links a higher level question around what will you leave - a legacy ask linked with in mem and tribute funds. The in mem and tribute world now sits with the legacy team as they are so closely connected.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Brilliant Steve, thanks for sharing.

jgunn said...

To add to Stephen's comments, coincidentally this week for the first time we had a Tribute Fund holder let us know that he had decided to leave a gift in his will to the NSPCC, and would like it attributed to the tribute fund in memory of his late wife.

It was great to see what we believed to be true anecdotally (especially considering our non-pledge approach) come to light in a real example.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Fantastic. Showing the value of setting up tribute funds, as well as linking them with legacies.

Thanks for sharing some data.

Princess of Personal Giving said...

I had the opposite experience with this segment when I did mail/phone bequest marketing as a consultant.

I found that the segment worked when someone gave at least 6 in memory gifts.

Bear in mind, a chunk of this segment are giving to the charity of the decendent's choice - not their own choice.

So drive carefully!

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Fair comment. The key is recognizing that (much like recognizing an emergency donor is giving to a 'situation').

With this client around 15 confirmed bequestors through one effort from a group that traditionally does not respond well to other reqeusts. Certainly paid for itself already.

Thanks for the feedback.

John D. Ladd said...

The issue of multiple vs. single gifts seems important to me.
Has anyone studied a link between gifts in honor of and bequest giving? My sense is that there is a similar motivation for these and memorial gifts, and often a stronger direct link between the donor and the organization. Especially if the memorial is the decedents' cause and not the donor's. I work for an independent school and we encourage gifts "in honor of" two in primary ways: in honor of teachers and of grandchildren by their grandparents. If nothing else, I'll be analyzing both of these types of gifts more closely.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Thanks John, and please share if you would. Be interested to hear any insights you can provide.