As uncomfortable as it may be to start the conversation about leaving a gift in will, it never fails to surprise us how many organisations are afraid to ask their donors about where they stand. From the simple and discreet to the straight-to-the-point, bequest surveys are a great place to start and here’s how we suggest you can start implementing them.
Identify those most likely to give
By analysing your current bequest segment you can identify a “look alike’ group on your database that would be the most likely to be interested in having a conversation open up about legacy giving.
To reach further, you can also segment potential bequest donors according to the recency-frequency-monetary model.
Take notice of how these donors have given in the past, which stories have best resonated with them, and look at any other interesting moments of engagement you have shared with them – use these insights to help determine if they are ready for the conversation and what the conversation should be.
Get creative with how you present the survey
If you’ve been fundraising for a while, you’ll know that a key tool in a relationship manager’s belt is their bequest survey.
Initiating a direct conversation on the topic of bequests can be awkward, so giving the reins to the supporter to take the lead is most often done through asking prompting questions, like that within a survey.
However, we all know that being asked what we want is a very different question from being told what we need to do to get there. Supporters may desire to leave a long-lasting impact but seeing your invitation to leave a bequest may not resonate in their minds as a way to practically do this.
Hence, creating a survey that sparks conversation about helping your organisation better know your donor, is a great way to start. Creating the right survey for your organisation is quite strategic. From the layout, to the sections of information, to the questions and also the types of questions – are all so important.
Ensure your bequest survey is part of a larger communication strategy
When initiating the conversation about bequests, remember that this is all about garnering different levels of bequest leads.
Once you have analysed the survey data, your Bequest manager should follow up leads with a phone call to start a connection and conversation. This call will allow the Bequest manager to really understand where a donor is in their bequest journey, and provide what the donor needs when they need it. When your donor shows interest, nurture it.
Create a story
Donors want to make a lasting impact, especially when they are considering their legacy. A clear stewardship plan for those leaving or considering to leave a legacy is critical.
Premium storytelling and design, will inspire and give confidence that if they were to become a bequestor, their gift will make lasting change.
Bequestors choosing to leave such an important gift in their Will can happen by chance. But most often it is a well-considered decision that has resulted from a series of intentional conversations initiated by the organisation. So, support them to make the right decision for them – it may not always be your organisation but it often is.