By Caoileann Appleby - Mar 12 2019
At our Fundraising School legacy event the other week, there were a few 'aha' moments for the audience. But I want to focus on just one: when attendee Declan White from Sightsavers pointed us to possibly the best legacy ad out there right now.
And it’s not even for a charity.
In just 90 seconds, you get a quick-fire masterclass in legacy marketing. How so?
- The ad tells a true story. The two brothers, David and Gareth Rees, play themselves. Research shows us telling stories by and about legators like their mum Olive helps drive legacy giving: the more authentic and genuine the stories, and the more of them there are, the better.
- It’s about who the legator was: her interests, her values, her memories. Research tells us that supporters want their values to live on through their legacy gifts. They are motivated by ‘symbolic immortality’: how they can be remembered after they’re gone. Just to hammer it home, in this ad, the legacy gift has an actual symbol - Olive's Welsh dragon purse.
- It’s about impact, not numbers. We have no idea how much money Olive left her sons – what we care about is the amazing time the brothers have every year, remembering their mum. It’s showing the positive power of leaving a gift in your Will.
- Like all the best ads, it’s not afraid to be emotional. This line “every trip we make, every game we see… it’s like Mum’s here with us. Love you Mum” gets me every time. Just because a legacy gift is more considered than a quick once-off donation, that doesn’t mean we should be relentlessly ‘logical’ and unemotional. Giving always starts with emotion. The practical stuff can come later. Inspiration comes first.
Guinness is showcasing the legator, talking about impact, and unafraid to show emotion... whereas our legacy mystery shopping shows that over 90% of Irish charities are mainly telling potential legators to talk to their solicitor. Yet again, a commercial business is showing us how it’s done.
So when I'm cheering against the Welsh at the Six Nations this Saturday, I'll still raise a glass for Olive Rees and what she’s taught me about legacy fundraising.
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