Why charities need to keep home movers close to their heart


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There are unprecedented numbers of people moving house. In the UK at the beginning of July there were 1.45 million households progressing through the moving journey – which encompasses those thinking about moving through to those that have recently made a move. And despite the cost-of-living crisis which is reaching fever-pitch research shows that appetite to relocate is not diminishing. In fact, close to half a million households in Great Britain have said that they want to move in the near future.

So why is this important to charities?

There are two reasons.

The first is that the UK property market is running hot. House prices have risen significantly. According to the Property & Home Movers Report Q2 2022 the average asking price across the UK is £433k compared to £360k in Q2 2019, an increase of nearly 20 per cent in two years. And when house prices rise – so too do legacy gifts. Legacy gifts are donations that are left in someone’s Last Will and Testament. Latest figures from the Legacy Monitor benchmarking programme reveals that legacy income totalled £1.69bn over the last 12 months. This equates to a 15 per cent rise on the previous year and is due to rising bequest values. The analysis shows that the average value of residual gifts received increased by 7.3 per cent in 2021/2 and this rise has been attributed to the continued rise in UK house prices. The Property & Homemover Report shows that there was particularly rapid growth in house prices in Wales (29 per cent), The South West and North West of England (25 per cent respectively). By understanding exactly where house prices are rising the most charities can more effectively target their legacy communications to focus on these areas and continue to grow bequest income.

The second reason that property data is important to charities is not so positive. When you move house there is an awful lot of admin. Not least informing people that you have moved. It has been estimated that the average household has to tell over 50 people and organisations that they are no longer at their old address. Consequently, a study by Wilmington Millennium revealed that people who move house assign charities to the bottom of the list of organisations they inform of their new address, presenting a challenge to maintain currency and accuracy of donor data. Three quarters of home movers fail to tell the charities they support that they have moved house. Instead, they give top priority to employers, schools, government agencies and financial services. In fact, the third sector is ranked lower than the milkman, window cleaners and magazine subscriptions. Indeed, when people were asked who they would inform on moving house, charities were ranked among the ‘non-essential to inform’ organisations, including retailers and entertainment providers such as gym and bingo memberships.

With the number of donors and the value of gifts both in decline due to the strain being placed on consumers disposable income, losing touch with supporters is potentially catastrophic for fundraisers. It is therefore critical to understand when donors are in the home moving journey so that relationships can be maintained and nurtured during this difficult time for both consumers and charities.

Nick McConnell
Nick is a director at TwentyCi, the leading property insight and buyhavioural marketing group


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