How charities can engage younger supporters

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The results of a new research study carried out by WNPC suggest that charities are missing a trick when it comes to legacy fundraising.

Traditionally marketing activity communicating the impact of bequeathing a gift to a charity is targeted at older consumers who are more likely to be forward planning.

The opportunity for legacy fundraising amongst younger consumers
However, the research finds that almost half of people between the ages of 26 and 55 are considering leaving charitable gifts in their wills, but only nine per cent of those in Generation X and just three per cent of Millennials have chosen which organisation they would like to leave their gift to.

The study also found that the majority of respondents – 87 per cent of Millennials and 70 per cent of those from Generation X – have not yet written a will which show the scale of the opportunity for charities to engage with younger supporters. Especially since the pandemic, younger audiences had become much more concerned with planning for the future and writing wills. Figures from will writing service, Fairwill revealed a 267 per cent jump in the number of wills being written during the pandemic, particularly amongst younger age groups.

The problem for legacy fundraisers
Despite this opportunity a large proportion of Millennials and Generation X say that they had never seen an advertisement for legacy giving; the most likely reason being because they aren’t currently targeted by legacy marketing.

Cookson said: “The most likely reason – particularly among Millennials – is that they are not currently targeted by legacy marketing. The conclusion of the study is that charities should therefore find ways to engage this untapped and potentially very valuable audience.

How to reach new audiences through direct mail
One potential way to do so would be via direct mail. The popularity of the medium over the course of the recent lock downs has risen exponentially, with direct mail now actively welcomed by many consumers as an effective way for organisations to communicate their messages and offers. Recent studies from Marketreach and JICMail show that it is now the most engaging form of direct marketing and the most trusted – and not just amongst older consumers, as might be assumed. Gen Z and Millennials are also fans of the channel, enjoying the n novelty of receiving something tangible through the post. It is also proven to be an effective way to communicate sensitive information, since people spend more time with direct mail than they do with other marketing channels.

Optimising mail success
The key to direct mail success, however, is in the targeting. Get this wrong and the good will and value of the channel diminishes. Consequently, for legacy fundraisers looking to reach these new audiences it is important to ensure that the data is accurate or risk alienation. This means removing any people from the database that have moved house or passed away, identifying any duplicate records so that households don’t receive the same mailing multiple times and also screening the data for typos and errors. All this can be done quickly, easily and cost effectively through the use of hygiene products as recommended by the ICO as a part of GDPR compliance.

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