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Tact and cheek win with legators

Tact and cheek win with legators
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Tact and cheek win with legators

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 7 Jul 2008

When asking for a legacy, most fundraisers attempt to treat the issue with grace and tact, but they could end up better off if they ask the donor to leave them money ‘when they kick the bucket’.

Research conducted for the TDA legacy research consortium found that people responded well to irreverent references to death and legacies. Conversely, direct language about death or pushy requests for a legacy were found to turn off potential legators.

The study, carried out by Caroline Midmore Associates, involved extensive focus group discussions with people in the 50 – 75 age bracket.

As the baby boomer generation starts to consider their wills a little more seriously, and the charity landscape suggests that people are more inclined to give to charities while they are alive, a new approach to requesting bequests could be needed to ensure that legacies remain a central and large part of voluntary contributions to third sector organisations.

“Leaving a legacy is the ultimate pledge of allegiance to a charity’s work and any communications surrounding this need to be carefully considered,” said David Burrows of TDA.

But while the cheeky language did score well, tactful and sensitive requests remained popular with the research participants.

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