Legacy Fundraising 2.0For many legacy teams, digital and social media are now a core element of the fundraising toolkit. Facebook ads, virtual events and social media campaigns are being used by charities of all sizes, whatever their budget; they are such great ways to tell stories and encourage interaction.

The use of digital and social media in fundraising is changing rapidly, and legacies are certainly no exception. Technology platforms, user behaviour (especially among the time-rich, tech-savvy boomers) and cutting-edge ideas are constantly evolving.

Despite the buzz we have yet to develop an agreed view of what makes for good online legacy communications. How can we best use digital and social media to inspire, inform and impel legacy donors into making a gift?

Last autumn we set out to explore these issues, working with 30 pioneering clients ranging from Cancer Research UK to Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Over the past six months the Legacy Fundraising 2.0 learning circle has generously shared experiences, data and ideas in order to build knowledge in this fast-moving area.

Although our members are at different stages of knowledge and experience, all agree it’s set to grow significantly: three quarters of our clients expect to spend a lot more on digital and social marketing over the next five years.

We discovered many common challenges too. How to get airspace with our busy digital teams? How to measure the effectiveness of our digital legacy communications – arguably much harder than for more immediate forms of fundraising. With limited budgets and capacity, how do we manage the shift to always-on communications, creating and responding to stories as they arise? And what will the ‘next big thing’ be?

Above all, we found that in digital and social legacies, no-one has all the answers – instead, there’s a heartening emphasis on testing, learning and sharing.

The pilot project is now complete, and we’re pleased to say that feedback has been positive. Here’s what a couple of clients had to say:

“A fascinating project that highlights the seemingly endless opportunities and potential for charities to engage with existing and potential legacy supporters – in motivating and inspiring ways, using a range of channels and on their terms. Invaluable.”

Nigel Gorvett, Head of Legacy and In Memory Giving, Marie Curie

“It was easy to get involved, not too jargon heavy, lots of reassurance we’re on the right track, and also some great insight and food for thought on what we can improve and what we can try next.”

Jen Corbett, Senior Legacy Marketing Officer, National Deaf Children’s Society

“The Legacy Fundraising 2.0 project has been well organised, insightful and bang up to date helpful. Just what I’ve come to expect from Legacy Foresight. I’d recommend it to any legacy fundraiser”.

Barry Hunt, Legacy Lead, Scope

The Legacy Fundraising 2.0 will be ongoing programme, with the next phase kicking off this July. The programme will focus on benchmarking and a deep dive into digital stewardship – for the details in full download the proposal here.

If you are interested in joining the Legacy Fundraising 2.0 Learning Circle, or for more information, please contact Caroline Waters