Top charities found to be making basic mistakes in legacy communications

Earlier this year, Legacy Foresight conducted a project in partnership with Legacy Voice which was aptly named Legacy Inspire. As part of this project, a mystery shop exercise was carried out in order to see how well the top 50 legacy charities performed when responding to an initial enquiry from a potential legacy donor seeking information on leaving a gift in their Will. The project analysed both the legacy brochures and supporter experience, looking at the timing of responses, accuracy and the quality of communications. The findings were quite revealing.

Communication at this early stage was found to vary considerably between the different charities. Legacy Foresight reported that one in 10 charities failed to respond to requests made for further information on leaving a gift in a Will. Other basic mistakes were made, such as long response times in sending a brochure and misspelling the names and titles of the potential legacy donors. Such mistakes do not inspire potential supporters to leave a valuable gift in their Will.

Legacy Foresight’s recent research has revealed that “on average, only 40% of pledgers and 5% of prospects go on to leave a bequest”. Legacy Foresight has predicted that cash legacy income could shrink by between 1% and 15% in 2020, with a central estimate of 8%, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With so much uncertainty, it is important for the initial communication with potential legacy donors to be timely, professional and inspiring in order to seize this opportunity to build a lasting relationship with potential donors and to secure valuable legacy income.

To read a summary of the Legacy Inspire report please go to:

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