Back to Latest News

How to turn bequest prospects into confirmed leads

The bequest program is one of the major keys to successful fundraising in an uncertain economic climate.

There are many reasons donors may prefer bequest giving during this season. Primarily, a gift left in a will is a way for donors to continue making an impact through giving but without affecting the potentially unstable financial situation they may currently experience. 

Why do we struggle to ask for bequests?

While the bequest program is often the most beneficial for a charity, it can be the hardest to administer.

With death itself a traditionally taboo subject, even the most experienced of fundraisers can feel hesitant to talk about financial affairs after someone has passed.

If someone has indicated an interest in leaving a bequest, either verbally or in writing, it's up to the fundraiser to pursue this for the benefit of everyone the charity supports.

In today's uncertain economic climate where daily fundraising may have slowed down, this is now the perfect time to follow up bequest prospects and turn them into confirmed leads.

Confirming their gift won't affect the quality of the donor's life today, but it WILL be of great benefit to your charity into the future.

Here are our key recommendations on how to turn bequest prospects into confirmed leads. 

Demonstrate the potential impact

A gift left in a will can either be a specified amount or a percentage of the entire estate. Demonstrating the impact of a gift can make prospects feel as though they're leaving behind a significant legacy rather than throwing their cash into a big black hole. Publicise previous bequest projects and detail how they've helped you further your reach in the community. 

Honour donors today

While the donation won't be received until the donor passes, bequestors should still be acknowledged as if it's in the bank. It's a significant show of respect to include a charity in your final wishes, and the gratitude should begin as soon as a donor highlights their intention.

Build genuine relationships

While a bequest may be a one-off gift, you must continue to build relationships with the donor to build credibility. You want them to feel that trusting you with a portion of their estate is the right decision. 

Regularly communicate and hold events either face-to-face or virtually within COVID-19 regulations to make them feel like the valued part of the family that they are. 

Avoid jargon

Complex jargon and terminology can overwhelm potential bequestors. While leaving a gift in a will has legal aspects, leave the confusing language to the lawyers. Of course, it's important to remain professional, but write and talk in real terms as you would with any other donor.

Respect privacy

Not all family members of bequestors are happy to hear that a charity has been chosen as a recipient of an estate. While you must honour potential bequestors and recognise their gift, always get permission before publishing names or acknowledging support publicly.

Continue to send appeals

Unless a bequest donor asks otherwise, continue to include them in your general appeals. Of course, the appeal communication should be tailored to acknowledge the gift, but continually highlighting your need for funds will help donors feel confident in their decision.

SupporterHub provides an integrated database that can help build a strong bequest program into the future. Featuring a dedicated opportunity management tool, the platform helps charities get to know prospects on a deeper level to nurture them into profitable leads.

With personalised communication at the core of relationship building, SupporterHub allows you to tailor communication to highlight someone's intention to leave a bequest while including them in future appeals.

A charity may not know the value of a bequest until the gift is received. It's therefore essential that you treat every prospect as a million-dollar donor from the moment they indicate interest.

To find out how SupporterHub can help turn bequest prospects into confirmed leads, contact us today and ask about our FREE trial.