Nearly two thirds of the people who tell Save the Children they’ve left them a gift in their will don’t actually do so. This represents a huge opportunity to boost legacy income.
Crucially, Save the Children need to lower pledger attrition. To do that, they wanted a new way to keep pledgers inspired, and communicate the impact their gift could have – and so ensure that they kept Save the Children in their will.
Save the Children didn’t want a typical stewardship programme with no guarantee of engagement. Rather, they needed to fully understand their pledger audience, and wanted a stewardship experience based on real insights to keep pledgers inspired.
We knew we needed to truly understand Save the Children’s pledgers to deliver a captivating journey. That’s why we joined forces with sector experts Good Innovation to uncover invaluable audience insights.
Through interviews with key pledger demographics and workshops with stakeholders at Save the Children, Good Innovation helped us challenge assumptions and inspire initial ideas for the stewardship experience.
And what we discovered was simple. Pledgers wanted reassurance that their gift would be used well in the future. They wanted to see Save the Children’s work in action. Most of all, they wanted an authentic human connection, including real behind-the-scenes insights from staff and volunteers.
We created a stewardship proposition, ‘Stories to be remembered’, and built a stewardship experience around it – with every element rooted in insight.
Our journey was predominantly print-focussed, in response to what pledgers wanted. We included arresting thank you and welcome mailings, a compelling annual publication, ‘Lifestories’, and other engaging ways for pledgers to continue a dialogue with Save the Children long after their pledge.
Already, pledger engagement is soaring, with double the amount of supporters responding to Lifestories compared with the previous year’s pledger communication. It’s too early to compare attrition, but this new stewardship experience is showing sure signs of surpassing its objectives.
Our collaboration with Good Innovation should be a blueprint for fundraising across the sector: by uniting insight and creative closer than ever before, we can create campaigns that cut-through and inspire lifelong engagement from supporters.
The programme was shortlisted for Best Legacy Campaign in the National Fundraising Awards in 2018.