Legacy Fundraising: International Motivations for Legacy Giving

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Legacy Fundraising Strategy: International Motivations for Legacy Giving


It is easy to assume that attitudes towards legacy giving are universal, but fastmap research suggests that you should consider international differences to formulate an effective legacy fundraising strategy.

fastmap’s legacy fundraising research looked at 21 different countries across Europe, Asia, South America and the Nordics and asked prospective legators some basic questions about their motivations to leave a gift in their Will.

The average ranking of these motivation is shown below:

international legacy fundraising strategy

Some legacy marketing specialists might feel there is relatively few surprises in this ranking. However, there are more surprises when we start to explore how countries differ.

We can see that in 16 of the 21 countries the favourite motivation was “I want to help those in need” and with more consistency, it was true that for every single one of the 21 countries the least favourite was “I want to be remembered”. Of course, we should note that this could, in reality, be higher than people are willing to admit in marketing research surveys.

However, the other motivations diverge and often quite dramatically.

The table below shows the variance in those agreeing across all 21 markets and demonstrates how the highest and lowest differ significantly.

international legacy fundraising strategy

Let’s dig a little deeper into the statement “I want to leave something behind for the causes I care about”. The average percentage of people agreeing with this motivation, across all 21 of the countries we researched was 36%. But it is interesting to note that in the highest market 54% of people agreed and in the lowest country only 13% agreed – these outliers would greatly affect this average which is certainly worth considering in your international legacy fundraising strategy.

If we look at the statement “I want to leave the world a better place than the one I grow up in” we can establish that the average percentage agreement across all 21 countries is 22%. But the lowest country has only 7% agreeing whilst the highest country has 42% – that’s six times as many people agreeing it.

These differences and similarities are not always obvious, and it doesn’t always link to geography, two countries that are near each other be similar or might be fundamentally different – often there’s a cultural or historical reason for the motivations or barriers. So this is why understanding your supporter motivations is key.

In my projects with fastmap we often find that, because legacies are linked to the taboo around discussing death, there is an overreliance on opinion and people’s views on what should and shouldn’t be said. Which is why charities and membership bodies looking to increase legacy giving should ensure that their legacy fundraising strategy, legacy propositions and legacy communications are all evidence-based especially when working internationally. What is taboo for one country or cultural is not necessarily taboo for another.

Using marketing insights gained from your own research, or external legacy marketing researchfrom the experts at fastmap, means that you can make informed decision over the messaging you use in your campaigns and the approach you take in your national or international legacy fundraising strategy. Only by doing this will you make your messages more relevant, more compelling and thereby generate more responses.

For more information on our methods and legacy marketing insights download our Guide to Maximising Legacy Fundraising Consideration created by fastmap and Freestyle Marketing.

This blog written by Allan Freeman, fastmap Associate and Managing Director at Freestyle Marketing. To learn more about how our research can help inform your legacy fundraising strategy don’t hesitate to get in touch with Allan on allan@freestylemarketing.co.ukor +44 07957 344734, or David Cole, Managing Director, fastmap on +44 (0) 20 7242 0702 or david.cole@fastmap.com.

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