BEQUEST PROMOTION - THE ULTIMATE GIFT
A bequest promotion programme often takes two to three years to show financial returns, but the investment and the ‘leap of faith’ which is essential to begin promoting bequests pays off in what will almost certainly be the largest gifts your organisation ever receives.
Bequests come in the form of cash, residuals of estates, property, antiques, paintings, investments and jewellery, mainly from existing members, supporters and donors. Your donors are often delighted to find that there is another way in which they can help you; a way which ensures that your good work will continue beyond their lifetime.
The decision to leave money to charity is most often made when a person is 70 years or older, so start building a list of individual supporters, identifying those who are 65 or 70 years or older and therefore possible bequest prospects.
Dedicated bequest promotion begins with suitable bequest literature and well-trained bequest liaison officers who interact with older supporters. Your donors are unlikely to think of this on their own – so talk to those who have reached the stage of life when bequests are a consideration – and offer them literature and advice on how they can make the ultimate gift to fund your work. It requires a regular programme of mailings to those supporters and constant publicity about bequests in newsletters and annual reports.
Another idea is a Bequest Society, which offers membership to supporters who have made a confirmed bequest. Finally, when asking for bequests:
- Ask for age
- Ask for confirmation
- Ask for interest in estate planning
- Ask for membership in a society
- Ask for recommendation of friends.