Why it’s time for charities to start being mindful about death

30th March 2023

‘Momento mori’ – Latin – a symbolic trope which acts as a reminder of the inevitability of death.

Death. Just thinking about it is uncomfortable, let alone using the word. Most of us actively avoid dwelling on it. But as marketers, we can’t shy away from difficult topics.

At Flourish, death is never far from our thoughts – and we’re okay with that. Comfortable, even. Because when we make people aware of their own mortality, we can spur them to do great things. To take actions that truly reflect who they are. Like updating their Will to include a gift to a charity.

The brilliant thing about legacy giving – meaning gifts in Wills – is it enables people to align themselves with your cause without spending anything right now. For many people, including a gift in their Will to a charity is a way of ensuring their beliefs are honoured when they’re no longer here. Whilst some people will donate a proportion of their estate, others will pledge a set amount. Others may never get round to updating their Will to reflect their wishes, which is why ‘always on’ legacy campaigns are so important.

For many of the larger charities, legacy gifts make up 1/3 of their total income. So whilst legacy gifts may not come to fruition as quickly as individual giving, they are still an extremely valuable source of income. Guaranteed income, nonetheless, which is essential for future proofing.

With an effective legacy programme, charities can capture the attention of supporters who recognise a gift in their Will as an extension of their values. Whilst we believe legacy programmes should be embedded in every charity fundraising strategy, there’s never been a better time to start prioritising gifts in Wills than right now.

In today’s financial climate, charity fundraising is becoming more difficult. The cost-of-living crisis has left household budgets stretched, and subsequently, individual giving has plummeted. But people’s values remain the same, and the desire to support causes close to their heart is still very much alive for supporters.

So knowing how to talk about legacies – and when – is crucial. It can be hard to talk about death in the first place, and even harder to talk about legacy giving without immediately mentioning gifts in Wills. Servicing enquirers with a useful information booklet and a user-friendly website are good places to start, but there’s much more to successful legacy fundraising than simply passing on information and hoping for the best. That’s where we come in.

Flourish have a long history of successful legacy marketing campaigns for charities. Over the years we’ve inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of people to support a cause they care about with a gift in their Will. How? By working with charities to develop messaging that resonates with their supporters. Producing assets, acquisition campaigns and supporter nurturing programmes.  Ensuring charities maintain highly engaged relationships with prospective pledgers. All of this begins and ends with being mindful of death.

If you’re ready to futureproof your fundraising, get in touch with Business Development Manager Aimee Blakemore today at [email protected]. We understand that budgets are tight for charities at the moment, so we’re offering a free legacy comms review worth over £1000.


About Flourish

We’re a specialist CRM agency, delivering data-driven customer journeys.

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