Having recently received a copy of one of the charities appeals supplement of one of the legal journals, I wondered if there was any consensus among legacy fundraisers about their effectiveness?
As a former legacy fundraiser I weaned myself off placing adverts in these publications since I was not convinced they yielded results. Yet the latest issue is packed full of charity legacy adverts.
So, has anyone researched this area of legacy advertising?
Crossbow conducted some syndicated research a few years ago. I don’t imagine however that the conclusions are any less valid today.
They asked solicitors and those responsible for will writing, if they ever recommended charities or made use of or reference to charities advertising in any/all of the legal journals. They of course replied (they would wouldn’t they) that they never recommended charities to clients but if asked might loan the Law Society Gazette (or occassionally Charity Choice) so that the client could identify the charity(ies) of their choice. They did say that they used The Gazette to check charity addresses and registration details once one has been selected.
So, if you have no budget, don’t worry just talk to your existing supporters. If you have a small budget advertise in just the two journals (and continue talking to your supporters) and if you have the delights of a large budget employ experienced fundraisers to talk face to face to your supporters!
Incidentally I think some of the recent work of the Legacy Campaign does reveal that if the simple question, ” have you mentioned your favourite causes in your list of beneficiaries?” is asked of those making/updating their wills then significant numbers will consider doing in. That seems to be where the campaign should perhaps focus its advertising rather than throwing it at the public.
I was wondering if anyone else had any further thoughts on this or knew of any more research that has been conducted in this area?
Do any legacy fundraisers out there have any evidence that such advertisements have led to a supporter leaving a bequest in their will? Or have you noticed any upward trends which could be accounted for by these adverts?
We code the address in all our advertisements which allows us to monitor the response to each one. It’s taken a while but we have a pretty good idea of what works for us now.
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