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Hack No 2: Easy hacks for creating memorable Gift in Wills communications

— Written by Miriam Raphael, Head of Copy

During my time at Marlin, I’ve worked on plenty of Gift in Will (GIW) programs as a copywriter and I feel this is some of the most special work we create – it speaks from a place of deep relevance for the charity and the person considering leaving a gift in their Will. 

In this series, I share what I’ve learnt about developing GIW creative and offer some tips that you can incorporate into your own communications.

Wilderness Society, Gifts In Wills

The Wilderness Society, Enquirer Pack, 2019

HACK 2: People can be inspired by the simplest things 

Trying to inspire your audience to think about the bigger picture requires addressing and articulating why your organisation does what it does, rather than saying how or what. 

You really only get a first impression to explain the WHY and the best time to do that is in your enquirer pack. The enquirer pack is where we hope to nudge people to admit they would consider leaving a GIW and be open to us sending them information. 

This pack is your place to go hard, showing them the way the world ought to be… and can be. Using powerful language and beautiful imagery, inspire your supporters to be their best, by appealing to their aspirations as an existing donor to your charity.   

A gift in will decision is meant to be a visionary decision but  people can be inspired by the simplest things.

The Wilderness Society, Enquirer Pack, 2019

The Wilderness Society, Enquirer Pack, 2019

We knew that for The Wilderness Society, what united all their long standing supporters was that intoxicating feeling of being in the bush and being at one with nature. 

That’s the feeling that their supporters love and are inspired by, and it’s what they want to share with the next generation.

But unfortunately the beautiful wilderness that they want to pass on to their grandchildren is actually being threatened and it must be secured. 

And the best way to secure nature is to make sure that organisations like The Wilderness Society exist so therefore they can protect not nature today, but nature tomorrow. 

So we tried to bottle the magic of the wilderness in this Gift in Will Pack – while showing what the donors  love about the world can be protected with their gift. We expressed it through the beautiful wildlife imagery and sharing universal truths like this: 

A bequest is not a line in a Will. It’s a gift that ensures that funding is secure to take on these long-term challenges, and win. It is a way of turning back the tide of destruction and creating a future where our grandchildren can still experience the joy of walking through our ancient forests, and be able to marvel at our rare and beautiful wildlife.

As the enquirer pack is your first communication piece with your donor, I think it’s important to address anxiety and doubt. Leaving a gift is a significant decision – people have a lot to consider –  so you want to ensure your communications give the donor confidence that you’re there for them at every step of the way, holding their hand.

Make sure each piece of communication feels like a one-to-one conversation between your GIW manager and the donor. 

Small things seem to really make a difference –  including the name and direct phone number of your GIW manager on your letter, to encourage the donor to discuss the matter further. On the outer envelope, handwriting the address (or at least using a handwriting font) and using an actual stamp make it feel more personal.

Keep following this series on GIW creative. Coming up next: Why testimonials are so important.