Moving the legacy conversation online

18 November 2015

Social media is a powerful tool for reaching out to our supporters.

But how can charities use it effectively to break down the barriers to legacy giving?

Tip 1: It’s good to talk

At its heart, legacy fundraising is built on fostering open dialogue around a taboo topic.

Social media provides an opportunity to talk about legacies with those who already value you. Consider your online channels as an extension of your face to face conversations.

“Social media allows us to show honesty, transparency, and respect,” says Michael Clark, Legacy and In-memory Manager at Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

“We made the most of our channels by posting throughout our sponsored legacy walk across London. This enforced the message that our staff are committed to the cause and we lead by example.

“Many have done something we ask our supporters to consider: included a gift in our Will”.

Tip 2: Tell a story

Engaging legacy marketing celebrates those who have made a difference to your cause.

Whether it be the smiling face of a legacy donor, a friendly guide dog or passionate fundraiser, an image will be more compelling than 140 characters alone.

Videos can work even harder to bring to life your legacy marketing. The best story to tell is from the perspective of the donor: people warm to an inspiring storyteller.

Tip 3: Be bold

Not being afraid to take risks is what drives many successful legacy campaigns.

It’s vital to be creative: an approach we adopt for the annual Remember A Charity Week.

This year’s Extreme Will-writing theme told the story of legacy giving through a light-hearted approach.

The nation became excited about gifts in Wills, reflected in the online buzz generated by the hashtag.

Tip 4: Share results

Promote the difference gifts in Wills make to your cause.

By showing the results of your supporters’ generosity, the impact is tangible and helps inspire others.

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Rachel Peck, Digital Marketing Manager at Diabetes UK shared their approach:

“Make sure the content resonates with your audience and engages them emotionally. And keep it short: videos and text. Remember, if you are targeting a cold audience, explain how the charity can make a difference with the donation”.

Tip 5: Show some personality

Social channels are tools for being warm and playful with legacy messaging.

Projecting a sense of humour will lift your online communications. Take inspiration from this fresh approach to demystifying legacies, harnessing Buzzfeed’s content-driven community.

Keep the conversation open

Continuing the two-way dialogue online moves the sector further towards normalising charitable Will-writing.

Remember to be brave. If you can achieve this you are halfway there.

Louise Pavoni, Campaigns Officer at Remember A Charity