Erskine donors leave a lasting legacy for Scottish veterans

Charitable income from legacies has quadrupled over the past 30 years and was forecast to top £4 billion per annum by the end of last year, experts say. It is little wonder that legacies (Gifts in Will) have become a key focus for charities that have one eye on the future. 

Scottish veterans charity Erskine has a dedicated and loyal supporters base and was looking for new ways to find and contact potential legacy donors in a cost-effective manner. A key consideration was not ‘spamming’ all donors with legacy information and instead trying to take a more targeted approach.

The new legacies campaign created by Erskine, with help from Dataro and QTS Fundraising, has had excellent early results.

Key results

Using AI to find the right prospects, Erskine achieved:

  • 96 new legacy prospects or pledgers uncovered
  • 81 new prospects or pledgers uncovered by telephone with a 34% conversion rate
  • 22 donors who pledged to leave a legacy (Gift in Will) or who already have

How we did it

Rather than using outdated selection methods based only on a donor’s age or recent giving history, Erskine utilised Dataro’s machine learning fundraising software to pinpoint the donors in their database who would be the most likely to be interested in leaving a legacy gift.

The software uses AI to examine legacy confirmations in the charity’s database, incorporating in-depth data from across the industry, to uncover nuanced trends in legacy giving and build a model that ranks the donors most likely to confirm a legacy gift.

With these rankings, Erskine was able to plan targeted fundraising campaigns via telephone and mail aiming to find potentially interested donors and to obtain legacy pledges. The results showed not only that the AI approach was extremely effective at identifying the most likely legacy donors, but also that the telephone and mail channels worked well to convert them.

The first part of the campaign was a telephone solicitation run by QTS Fundraising. Of the 236 people reached, 13 became (or already were) pledgers, 17 people confirmed they would consider leaving a legacy gift, and 51 enquired for more information. 

The second part of the campaign was a mail solicitation directed to roughly the top 5000 donors most likely to leave a legacy gift. The mailing campaign uncovered 7 donors who had already remembered Erskine in their wills, plus 6 who enquired after more information and 2 who had now decided to remember Erskine as a direct result of the campaign.

If we assume an average legacy gift size of between £20,000 to £50,000 pounds, the 22 supporters uncovered in the campaign who wish to remember Erskine will contribute between £440,000 and £1.1 million to an extremely important cause. 

What they said

“We’re very pleased with the results and look forward to using Dataro more for future legacy development activities”

Sarah Morgan

Legacy Development Manager

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