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).
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.