Tips to include legacy giving as part of your year-end campaign.

Nov 10, 2022

As the holiday season approaches, it is time to start thinking about our annual fundraising campaigns. The holidays are a time for giving, which includes giving to nonprofits. Many charities see the most significant influx of donations during the months of November and December.

While you may be focused on securing donations from individuals and businesses, don’t forget to consider legacy giving. Legacy gifts can provide a much-needed boost to your bottom line and help ensure your organization’s long-term viability.

If you’re unfamiliar with legacy giving, it is a way for people to continue giving back even after they’re gone. A Legacy gift is when someone donates a portion of their estate (usually through their will) to a nonprofit or charity. It can make a significant and long-lasting impact for the recipient organization.

Launching a legacy giving campaign, or incorporating it into your current year-end campaign, is a great way to get people thinking about their own legacy and how they can make a lasting impact.

Here are five tips on how to make your legacy giving campaign part of your year-end fundraising strategy.

Don't forget to include legacy giving opportunities in your year-end communications. - Copy

1. Talk legacy giving in your year-end communications.

Include information about legacy giving in your holiday eNewsletters, social media posts, and any other communication you have with your supporters. Including this information is a great way to introduce the idea of legacy giving to people who might not be familiar with it.

Be sure to include some of the benefits of legacy giving. Not only does it provide a much needed financial boost to the recipient organization, but it also offers several benefits to the donor.

Legacy gifts are often tax-deductible, which can help to reduce the donor’s overall tax bill. Additionally, legacy gifts can be used to establish a named fund at the recipient organization, which can serve as a lasting tribute to the donor’s generosity.

Finally, legacy gifts can help to ensure that the donor’s philanthropic goals are met long after they are gone. In short, legacy giving is a win-win for the donor and recipient!

READ MORE: How you can tell a more donor-centric story.

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2. Send special appeals to legacy giving prospects.

Create a list of your top legacy giving prospects and send them a unique year-end appeal asking them to consider making a gift in their will. You can even include information about how they can get started with estate planning.

The best legacy giving prospects are people who strongly connect to your organization and its mission and have been involved with it for many years. They may also be people who have benefited from your organization’s work.

In addition, they are usually people who are financially stable and have the ability to make a significant gift. While there are no hard and fast rules, these are generally the people who make the best legacy giving prospects.

READ MORE: Finding supporters who fit your ideal donor profile.

An estate planning attorney or financial advisor can help you educate supporters on legacy giving.

3. Make it easy for people to include your organization in their will.

Make sure you have updated information on your website about how people can make a gift in their will. Some organizations even include templates and sample wording.

You might also want to partner with an estate planning attorney or financial advisor who can help educate your supporters about the different ways they can make a lasting impact with a legacy gift.

READ MORE: How to show donors the impact of every donation.

DOWNLOAD: Your year-end appeal.

4. Educate your donors about the impact of legacy giving.

One of the best ways to educate your supporters about legacy giving is using social media and digital media. You can use these platforms to share information about what legacy giving is, the benefits of doing it, and how to go about it.

By sharing this information with your supporters, you can inspire them to consider making a legacy gift to your organization.

READ MORE: How to secure support with your social media appeal.

Think of unique ways to can thank and recognize legacy donors publicly. - Copy

5. Recognize legacy donors.

Show donors you appreciate their commitment by recognizing legacy donors in your marketing materials and website. Ask your current supporters to share their stories and profile them.

Sharing stories will inspire others to consider making a similar gift.

READ MORE: The four principles of visual storytelling.

Is it the right time to promote legacy giving?

The holidays are when many of us are thinking about our loved ones, our health, and our ability to give back to causes we care about. By including legacy giving in our year-end communications, we can help inspire more donors to leave a lasting impact.

A legacy gift is a powerful way to ensure that the work of vital organizations can continue long into the future.

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