How our multi-channel strategy helped Crisis secure a greater uptake in pledges for gifts in Wills.
Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness, rely on gifts in Wills as a form of donation to support people to access safe, secure housing. Crisis campaign for policies that will prevent more people being forced into homelessness in the future.
With the bulk of Crisis’ funding currently coming from Crisis at Christmas, there is a need to build more stable, long-term sources of income. Legacy giving is on the rise, good news for charities like Crisis who need this reliable source of revenue. Following the success of previous campaigns delivered by Flourish, Crisis sought our help to inspire new audiences with this way of giving.
The Story of Crisis
Crisis has been helping people out of homelessness since 1967. They work directly with people experiencing homelessness to inform their research and support their campaigns. The donations they receive from gifts in Wills help to fund their work which includes helping people find a home, learn new skills, or find a job. For Flourish, working with Crisis is an opportunity to use our expertise in CRM to deliver meaningful comms that will raise awareness of a worthy cause.
Why Crisis chose Flourish
We’ve been fortunate to work with Crisis on several campaigns and our long-term relationship is testament to our compatibility. We take pride in our ability to support legacy fundraising, something that has become an area of expertise for us.
Summed up, we use CRM marketing and paid media across different platforms to entice new audiences – something Crisis were keen to explore, to help encourage more people to support them with this special way of giving.
Recruiting new supporters
Before people leave a gift in their Will, they want to know how it will be used. This is challenging as due to the nature of legacies, gifts are not received until many years later. However, by providing examples of members who have turned their lives around with help from Crisis and underlining the importance of long-term policy work which relies on the sort of resource that can only be guaranteed due to gifts in Wills, we are able to show legators that anything they are able to include in their Will can have a real human impact in the future.
Likewise, for existing supporters it was important for Crisis to keep them up to date with regular communications so that they feel valued and not just called upon to donate, so when planning our supporter personas, we were sure to take this supporter journey into consideration for the campaign and tailor creative to suit.
Bearing these factors in mind, Flourish worked to identify new opportunities for fundraising whilst also identifying areas for improvement in existing comms, to make them work harder and yield better results. This included the revamp of Crisis’ legacy webpages, a video production and campaign launch plans. Ahead of the Spring legacy appeal in 2022 we planned and provided creative for media advertising in the form of a Facebook campaign.
How Flourish Responded
Our first step was to produce a video which would be the flagship asset for the legacy journey. This involved four days of production on-site in London and a careful editing process. Then, with the video completed and signed off, we began a website review, suggesting improvements to the user journey to maximise conversions for gifts in Wills. Following this, we had the green light to go ahead with the rest of the strategy, starting with wire framing a new section of the website. This is where the audience land when they receive any related legacy comms, streamlining their journey to leaving a gift in their Will.
The lead generation portion of the strategy acted as a first test for Crisis’ legacy work in the social media space. First, we delivered creative for a social acquisition campaign targeting cold and warm audiences. The concept for this was based on ‘generations’, and not only used the Crisis’ organisational voice, but also the voice of pledgers from the baby boomer generation who have rallied for positive change all their lives and feel that ending homelessness ought to be possible in their generation.
Following on from this, an appeal was sent to Crisis’ existing supporters aged 40+. Again, the lead voice was a Crisis pledger who explains her reasons for leaving a gift in her Will to Crisis. This then leads into an information booklet that showcases a Crisis member, highlighting his experience of being forced into homelessness and how Crisis helped him to get back on his feet.
The creative was sent out to approximately 160,000 people, reaching the audience through both direct marketing and email. This followed on nicely from the social acquisition campaign, which started prior to the appeal landing, and continued throughout the duration of the campaign.
Since the campaign was launched in March, Flourish has improved the UX on the Crisis website whilst raising awareness of the Crisis brand and the ability to leave legacy donations.
At the time of writing this case study, it’s too early to tell the full impact of the strategy due to the long lead time related to legacy gifts. However, we saw fantastic engagement from our target audiences, and by early June, Crisis reported that they had uncovered 40 new legacy pledgers as well as 150 supporters who are interested in leaving a gift and 5 wills made. Out of the 5 wills that were created as a result of the appeal, 2 people pledged legacies as residuary gifts (meaning a proportion of their estate). From what we know about average gifts and conversion rates, this equates to at least £230,000 in future legacy income.
We continue to have regular review meetings to discuss how the brand and legacy fundraising is evolving for Crisis and how we can continue to improve performance in future campaigns.
Flourish have helped many charities to create opportunities for legacy fundraising over the years with great success, including the likes of St Mungo’s, MSF, Alzheimer’s UK, Diabetes UK, Australian Red Cross, RNIB, Young Lives vs Cancer, PDSA and The Smith Family.
To learn more about how Flourish could help unlock new audiences in your next campaign, get in touch or contact Marketing and Business Development Manager Aimee Blakemore directly at [email protected].