Your most loyal contributors are those who have compassionately given in their will. That’s why it is so important to show your appreciation as you nurture them through their bequest journey. This is not a set-and-forget fundraising effort; building personalised relationships is integral to your organisation’s reputation. So, how do we bolster up your bequest program to reinforce your supporters that leaving a gift in will with your organisation is the most powerful way to leave a long, lasting legacy?
Use multiple touchpoints in a bequest journey
Think about your supporter – their age, life stage and values. Do they appreciate when time is spent with them? Do they find comfort in a good chat with someone who is willing to lend an ear?
When onboarding your most valuable supporters into this momentous way of giving, a personalised, multi-channel experience is highly recommended. Here are a few ways we suggest:
- Pick up the phone and give them a call. Check-in with how they are doing. Take notes about what you discussed on the call so you can refer to them in your next call. I know you would probably remember without the notes but having them on hand shows that you care.
- Arrange a visit or zoom catchup (thanks COVID-19). Seeing a person face-to-face fosters a connection much faster. They are more likely to build trust with a face they can see rather than a voice on a phone.
- Put on events that are for their demographic. Not only does it put a pep in their step when they get to meet other like-minded people but creating a themed event can really help your organisation share its message in a way that celebrates the donor and invites them to be more active in the community you are creating.
Effort never goes unnoticed. You want to keep your supporters happy and especially those who are entrusting you with a portion of their will. Creating a will is no easy task, and it takes a lot of thought and consideration. It’s the one gift they won’t be around to see or hear about the result, so validate their decision by building a strong and genuine relationship with them from the moment they say yes.
Invest in a relationship (bequest) manager
Building relationships, especially those that will mature over time need constant effort. At Redstone Marketing we know for a fact that many of your team are already tied up in other tasks, and probably wearing more than one hat when it comes to fundraising.
This is why we suggest investing in hiring a Relationship (Bequest) manager. Their main focus is to build relationships with those who are interested in or already signed up to leave a bequest. By investing in this role, you open up the possibilities of a person putting their full expertise in creating relationships, sustaining relationships, and guiding your most valuable supporters through each stage of the giving cycle.
A relationship manager knows not to push the boundaries, understands how long is appropriate to stay at a home visit, and the manner in which one is to interact with a supporter. It is important to note the fine line and how sensitive this can be for the supporter you’re visiting.
Honest, clear and transparent communication is necessary for a bequest program
At the end of the day, the organisation and the supporter both have common values. That’s why they’re already onboard your mission.
But understanding the big picture, really understanding the value of bequests long term, takes trust and time. This is why it is important to give your supporter space. When you have made a home visit, take a moment to introduce them to the Gift In Will booklet your organisation has created. This should cover everything they will need to consider in order to make their decision.
The Gift In Will booklet is a great tool to showcase what your organisation is really about. It is your testament and chance to ease your supporter into the confidence they need to contribute (plus it’s a tool they can use to check in with any other decision-makers or sons and daughters who may be helping them make financial decisions).
A comprehensive Gift In Will booklet should have the following:
- An overview of the work your organisation does
- Some key case studies and or statistics that show the evidence of the organisations effectiveness when creating positive change
- Testimonials from other supporters who have been involved
- Photos that are engaging of key stakeholders and the organisations recipients. Again when we show faces, we are more likely to instil trust and confidence in our supporters
- Don’t forget to add some legal tips to help assist with the logistics of making the decision.