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Marlin Communications - digital strategy

A Gifts in Wills Conversation with Alexis Escavy

Include a Charity Week (IAC) runs from 5-11 September 2022 and is a campaign run by Fundraising Institute of Australia to promote and elevate the work of over 100 charities across Australia. By working together we can change charitable giving forever and make Gifts in WiIls (GIW) the norm, allowing more Australians to make an impact after they’ve gone.

Marlin spoke to four trailblazers in the GIW space to gather their experience and insights. Tune in throughout the week to hear from each. Up next is Alexis Escavy, Key Relationship Manager at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

What gets you up every day and energised about working in gifts in Wills?

The conversations I have with Greenpeace Australia Pacific (GPAP) supporters. Hearing the passion and deep commitment those people have for nature and the work GPAP does, fills my heart with joy, love and hope for the future of our planet. A lot of people think GIW conversations are gloomy and dark but it is the polar opposite. Similar to how a lot of First Nations people around the world approach death, GIW conversations are always a celebration of people’s life and what they are the most passionate about. You learn amazing things everyday and it is extremely enriching.

What has surprised you about working in this space?

The complexity of estate management/certain estates and the lack of marketing funding most charities suffer from. Worldwide, GIW represent around 20% of all income for charities, yet only benefit from 2% of investment/funding.

What’s the most challenging aspect of gifts in Wills?

Dealing with difficult estate, incompetent solicitors, and understanding estate taxation.

What are your top three tips for how to look after a bequest donor?

  • Listen! Listen and listen again.
  • Take notes in your CRM, as detailed as possible, so you and the next person in charge will know/remember things about the person in order to make the conversation more personal next time.
  • Be yourself. GIW supporters are just like you and me.
  • Report back regularly and thank people as often as you can, genuinely.

Sorry, that’s 4.

Is there a charity (apart from yours of course) who you think is doing GIW particularly well? What has stood out to you?

RSPCA and Guide Dogs Victoria. They use lots of great, personalised and emotional email communication, which is hard to do, as we are always fighting with other comms going out and prioritizing GIW comms can be hard (For GPAP especially, as we send a LOT of campaign emails, all the time).

What’s an element of Greenpeace’s GIW program that you’re most proud of?

Our Telemarketing and Digital campaigns.

Telemarketing (TM): We came up with an idea to gather demographic information to improve our database health and allow for better segmentation in the future. 4 years running now, it is a fully integrated TM campaign with stewardship, conversion, acquisition, invitation to events, etc. AND virtually complaint free (we’ve had just 2 complaints in 4 years!)

Digital: We used bold and quirky creative assets, had great audience testing over the years, and learned how to score more points with Facebook’s algorithm to improve our Cost per lead.

The integration of our digital and TM campaign is also awesome (although it does feel like I am blowing my own whistle).

Check back in tomorrow for a Q&A with Felicity Shand from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.