Pink and yellow graphic of people hugging and hand writing.

Legacy acquisition from a ‘low engagement’ audience for Worldwide Cancer Research


Worldwide Cancer Research (WCR) wanted to run a legacy acquisition campaign, but their warm base was largely made up of lottery ‘sweepstake’ players who were less engaged with WCR.

To meet this challenge, we developed an innovative two-stage on and offline acquisition campaign. First, we asked our audience to share their personal stories of cancer. We ‘played back’ the stories to demonstrate that cancer affects so many people and must be stopped – a possibility with legacy gifts.

The campaign resulted in 55 new pledgers and 52 considerers, and the CPA as low as £6.99 for the online audience.


Stories shared


Storybook downloads


New pledgers leaving gifts in their Will

The challenge

Engaging a warm but less engaged sweeps audience and inspiring them to convert to legacy givers was one of the key challenges and demanded an innovative approach.

Executing a two-stage campaign enabled us to capture the attention of an audience outside of the usual legacy pipeline. People like to share their experiences and the first stage of the campaign simply asked for people’s stories of cancer. The second ‘story book’ stage, re-told these stories underlining the scale of the threat caused by cancer, demonstrating the real-life impact the work of WCR can have on people affected by cancer, and presenting gifts in Wills as a way of increasing that impact.

For WCR, it was apparent that some sweeps supporters were more motivated by the prize than the cause, so with this campaign it was even more important to shine a light on real-world stories that demonstrate how leaving a gift in the short term can have a bigger impact in the long-term.

We wanted to make sure people were nurtured once they had signed up, so we developed a stewardship journey for new leads. We tailored the content to meet the needs of warm vs. cold audiences coming in through social and DM.

The solution

Stage one of the campaign attracted an unprecedented response, with literally hundreds of supporters getting in touch to share their stories. One of the personal experiences we chose to highlight was Basil’s story. Basil is 102 years old, and by making the campaign more accessible to an older audience we were able to make him a campaign lead. We also wanted to make sure as many people as possible could see their own story reflected, and the difference supporting WCR can make for people in the future in the same position.

It was crucial that we made the appeal of the campaign as broad as possible. Given the more mature age range of the sweepstake audience compared to the online audience we targeted, we needed to make sure both demographics were able to access the same rich content. We included a QR code in the DM packs so that the sweeps audience would be able to easily access the digital journey.

The video created a buzz internally as it gave a platform to the very people WCR colleagues have worked so hard for. By using real-life inspirational stories, we remind charity colleagues that their work is so valuable to help real people who have been affected by cancer.

The results

The results exceeded our expectations. Over 180 people shared their personal experiences with us during the first stage of the campaign.

The DM pack resulted in 55 new pledgers, 52 considerers, whilst the social media campaign captured the attention of 369 enquirers who downloaded the gifts in Will guide.

There were a further 727 storybook downloads from a cold lookalike audience. CPA was £13.77 for Will guide enquirers and £6.99 for storybook downloads.

Anecdotally, supporters have shared they found the experience of sharing their stories cathartic, and this has increased their loyalty to WCR.

The campaign attracted the attention of Russell Watson and was broadcast on various news platforms including BBC and ITV. Russell Watson also left a gift in his Will to the charity following his own traumatic brain tumour scare in the form of a compilation album to be released posthumously, with all proceeds from sales set to be donated to the charity.

Need help with your Legacy strategy?

As well as building a heritage in supporting charities with legacy marketing, we can also help with regular giving, individual giving, in-memory giving and proposition development. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can support your charitable organisation to increase legacy donations from gifts in Wills, or for support with your next appeal.


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