This year’s Remember a Charity (RaC) week campaign was called Will You? It used a clear and simple ask in bold colours which charity members personalised with photos and their own messages. There was a static image version as well as a gif version. RaC shared a video of their Insta feed which was full of colour.
This annual week is used by member charities to promote the gifts in wills message and used by the wider sector as a ‘safe time’ to talk about legacies (although I’d hope that the campaign has done enough by now to make digital legacy comms, year-round). Media coverage is driven by RaC and once again this year ambassador Len Goodman was spreading the simple message of write a will and if you can, leave a bit to charity. And the Wombles were out in force, especially on Facebook.
Rob Cope wrote this call to action about the importance of legacy fundraising – Why the sector can’t afford to drop the legacy baton now. He stressed the potential of legacies for charities as the baby boomer generation ages, but described a sector where budgets and teams are being cut.
What does this mean for digital legacy fundraising? Historically it was seen that the target (age) groups preferred paper-based comms and face-to-face events, they didn’t use digital. But this year has forced legacy teams to explore and expand their online marketing and stewardship. It’s an exciting time to see how this grows.
Engagement on organic Twitter
As an insight into the messages shared this week, here are some trends from this year’s organic comms on Twitter. Unsurprisingly video features highly but well formatted tweets with strong statements and images also did well. Big audiences did not guarantee good engagement.
Engagement on organic Twitter is generally quite low these days, it is harder and harder to get much of a lift. Many of the standard tweets I looked at using the RaC artwork got very minimal engagement (like Macmillan’s). It’s not to say that it wasn’t effective, just that people didn’t share, reply or like it. The click through rates may have been brilliant or it may be effective as a reminder or motivator for an off-line activity.
I was instead looking for tweets which got good engagement. I wanted to see if there were any particular ‘winners’ or stand-out content as well as trends. Again, higher numbers of likes and views does not necessarily translate to clicks to more info or pledgers.
‘Our work to help animals will not stop’. This stand-out message from IFAW UK is really well formatted – strong first sentence, followed by more detail about your action and its impact. It is well spaced and includes emoji and a link to make it easy to digest. Hashtags at the end help to explain the context (only niggle is they should use CamelCaseToMakeThemAccessible). A montage of six images rather than the usual one or four also makes it stand out.
“There are developments on the horizon around better treatments for prostate cancer. I want to help make that possible.” Great stuff from Prostate Cancer. Simple storytelling, few words, well structured. Clear action and link. The same post did better on PCUK’s Facebook.
This was one of three tweets shared by the Manchester United Foundation about legacies during the week. The first was a customised RaC graphic which also got good engagement. This 3 minute video was also RTd by the main Manchester United account to its 27million followers.
A similar uplifting 2min film was shared by Lord’s Taverners to their much smaller audience.
RSPB launched a legacy campaign on the first day of the week with a video which will air online and TV called Time Flies. Here it is on You Tube where there is a 30 second version too. It was created with Aardman. On the RSPB website it appears under the heading – Your legacy is the future of nature.
Storytelling by a charity’s beneficiary or testimonials from legacy pledgers or stories from previous donors are mainstays of offline and web page legacy fundraising. Here are some examples from Twitter this year.
Andy from St Mungo’s told how his life has been transformed. ‘Help someone like Andy transform their life, by leaving a gift in your will.’ The video has had 180 views and a handful of engagements (slightly more than daily average and another legacy video they shared in the week). It got more engagement on Facebook.
Glyndebourne ran a series of videos (My lasting legacy) through the week with supporters talking to camera. The opera house set up a special club for pledgers – the John Christie Society. Its ambassador, Dame Felicity Lott shared her story in the first one which had the most engagement.
Not all stories got good engagement, like this from Marie Curie.
There were also a few examples of organisations sharing their impact to drive support.
- A thank you rather than an ask from The PSP Association who shared a graphic of their impact stats.
- ‘We can’t save the rhinos overnight’ – strong message from Save the Rhino International.
- A before and after image from Animals Asia, (plus hashtags). They also shared a video showing their work and explaining why legacies matter.
Content which your audience likes
A safer bet for legacy content is sharing images or stories which appeal to your audience. It might get good engagement but needs to be hooked-in to the legacy ask.
- This tweet from Badgers Trust appeared in my automatic top tweets listing. Did it get lots of likes because it is a nice picture? It doesn’t include a link to make it easy to get in touch.
- Lovely cat pictures from Cats Protection got good engagement.
- This about ancient graffiti from SPAB also appeared in my top tweets. The text and video are interesting content but not related to RaCW, just use the hashtag. More could have been made of this. They did share other content during the week, the whole thing might have worked better as a thread.
- This National Gallery tweet showing a painting which had been acquired thanks to a legacy got good engagement too (but lower than their usual levels).
Be like Handel and leave a legacy – Coram.
Legacy fundraising good reads
- Laura Jacques: Why organisational buy-in is vital for legacies and how to make it happen – Civil Society
- Cathryn Worth: Promoting legacies in an environment where no one is dying to talk about it – Civil Society
- Golden years: Charities now investing in legacies are set to reap rich rewards – Civil Society
- Surviving and thriving with legacies by Kerys Sheppard, Head of Fundraising at Shelter Cymru – UK Fundraising
- One million gifts in Wills left to charities in past decade – UK Fundraising
Is your organisation part of the Remember a Charity consortium? If so did you join in with promotions during the week? How did it go? Which channels worked best?
Did you see (or launch) any stand-out comms during the week? Did you run paid campaigns and if so, how did these do?
Please do share in the comments.