The Legacy Marketing Opportunity of a Lifetime | DMA

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The Legacy Marketing Opportunity of a Lifetime


For many charities legacy marketing can be overlooked. However, just a small increase in legacy giving can open vast revenue streams and this becomes even more important when scaling to an international level.

fastmap’s legacy researched into 13 different countries explored who was willing to leave a legacy and what charities they had or were considering leaving a legacy to.

Inevitably, in every country there’s a group of people who aren’t willing to leave a legacy and of course that is their prerogative, so we can exclude them from the market opportunity (although they may change their minds in the future).

We also see – as you might expect – a group of people who have never heard of legacy giving or leaving a gift in their will and so they just have not thought about the idea.

However, there is also another group that are far more prudent targets for legacy marketing. These are the people who are considering leaving a gift in their will, but haven’t decided which charity they want to leave a legacy to and it is these individuals who are key,

fastmap’s quantitative research into legacy fundraising has consistently found that this group is significant. In fact, across the 13 countries reviewed, on average nearly 27% of people ‘weren’t sure’ which charity they would leave a legacy to. This is a massive legacy marketing opportunity, its telling us that around 1 in 4 people who are willing to leave a legacy are still deciding which charity they will leave it to. This is perhaps the biggest fundraising opportunity that exists. Charities in all causes should design legacy fundraising strategies that target this audience and work out how to best inspire legacy giving. This requires you to understand what your best approach to legacy marketing is, and identify the messaging that will emotionally and practically move these people to leave a legacy gift to your charity. It requires you to work with your colleagues across your organisation to ensure that your volunteers, your major donors, your mid value supporters, your raffle, lottery and regular givers and of course your brand all align to maximise the legacy potential. If you want to learn more about how to get marketing insights to inform your legacy fundraising strategy I urge you to a look at our legacy fundraising guide.

fastmap’s legacy research analyses the data by market and has found that some countries have a higher percentage of unsure legacy givers than others. The table below shows the ranking of the countries, with Japan at the top with the highest percentage of ‘not sure’, and South Africa with the lowest percentage. In South Africa it is closer to 1 in 10 people that haven’t decided on the charity they will leave a legacy to, whilst in the case of Japan it’s almost 4 in 10 people who are still undecided.

international legacy marketing insights to inform your legacy fundraising strategy

We know that for some countries the decision of which charity they should leave to and then acting on this by writing or updating a will takes time and the technical legalities and intricacies can vary. But this legacy marketing data is key, it allows you to make decisions based on evidence and on market research. It doesn’t give you ‘the answer’ to legacy fundraising, but it does tell us that there are many people willing to leave a legacy. If you get your international legacy fundraising strategy right, the potential is literally billions of $ or € or £ or ¥ or ฿ or ₹ or whichever country and currency is yours.

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 is a guest blog written by Allan Freeman, Managing Director at Freestyle Marketing and fastmap Associate Partner. To learn more about how our research can help inform your legacy fundraising strategy don’t hesitate to get in touch with Allan on or +44 07957 344734, or David Cole, Managing Director at fastmap on or +44 020 72420702.

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