Why You Should Be Growing Your Planned Giving Program Today

The anxiety around COVID-19 has caused unprecedented numbers of Canadians to reach out to legal firms and online suppliers for will and living trust services.

At the same time, while many fundraising channels are struggling, legacy giving has seen a year-on-year increase across the sector. Few donors have the capacity to make a traditional major gift, but many supporters have the potential to make impactful contributions through other types of assets. Therefore, a dynamic legacy giving program is a key component of a well-rounded fundraising strategy to maximize donor lifetime value.

FD has delivered legacy giving programs as part of our core fundraising support for Canadian charities since we started in 2011.

The key to a successful legacy giving program is an integrated strategy that takes donors on a deliberate, targeted journey from lead through to legacy conversion.

Here are our top three tips when building a legacy giving strategy:

Targeting donors looking for a long-term relationship.
You aren’t going to find your legacy donors on a purchased list. Legacy giving is about cultivating your long-term cash and monthly donors over 2-5 years.

The phone is your best friend.
Traditionally, planned giving interest has been solicited through direct mail. However, a simpler way to find out who has included your organization in their will, or who may be interested in doing so, is to ask them directly. Over the phone, you can quickly get a sense of supporters’ views on leaving a gift in their will, as well as identify prospects that would benefit from more focused stewardship.  While the phone is a slightly higher initial investment, the quality of the output means you can more readily predict future income, and ultimately secure longer-term income.

Make sure you are keeping in touch. 
Most people will update their will multiple times as their circumstances change, and you should be reaching out to both your confirmed and tentative legacy givers every 6 – 12 months with varied stewardship touchpoints to to ensure your organization stays top of mind.

Now is the time to invest in a comprehensive legacy giving program. To find out what a bespoke strategy could look like for your organization reach out to graemeb@fundraisingdirect.ca.