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If you Google 'Legacy' and click on what a person's legacy is you get a pretty good answer.

'It is about the richness of the individual's life, including what that person accomplished and the impact he or she had on people and places. ... Ultimately, the story of a person's life reflects the individual's legacy'

I like this, particularly wealth in terms of the difference someone has made on others.

Why was a Googling legacy?

It's become a large part of what I do, stuff associated with legacy fundraising that is, not random Google searches, although I do that also.

When you are emersed in a world, it's easy to think that generating gifts, either via wills, or from other forms of fundraising is anything other than normal, which isn't actually true.

For example, I've been working with an online will writer and the percentage of charitable gifts in Wills is closer to 10% than 100% in their experience, but with over 35K Wills on their system with over £35.8 million in gifts to charities committed between 2018 and the end of 2020 that's still a substantial amount on just one platform, and that was before this year which looks to be a bumper year for legacy fundraising. It's worth taking a look at FreeWills by the way, as this is the only online will writing service that doesn't charge charities for any of their services and a supporter can obtain a completely free will here too.

However, this isn't simply a plug, I'm speaking to lots of charities and fundraising has been under a lot of pressure in the last few years, actually, I'd argue it's always a tough gig.

I was chatting to another fundraising consultant last week and he asked me what I thought of our sector. It was tempting to answer by identifying the challenges, of which there are many. But while I thought about it, I threw the question right back at him and his answer struck a chord.

'It's amazing, how awesome is it to be able to persuade someone to give up their hard earned money and or time to help you fix a problem which may not have anything to do with them?'

He's right, fundraisers hold the key to unlocking dreams and making missions accomplishable. Champions of causes that need cheering about.

It's not easy though, even when you have the tools (another unashamed plug here, Ema Giving have developed some pretty nifty digital solutions for fundraisers, check them out too), you need to know how to use them.

There is a language that's helpful to learn to enable you to connect with people who care. There are ways and means to make a compelling ask and equally, you can get it hopelessly wrong if you are not attentive to the way your audience receives your message.

That said, in fact, because of the challenges, I'm proud to work with charities and if raising money to achieve difficult goals and overcome hurdles, then I'll be happy for that to be part of my legacy.

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There are causes we connect with.

You, me, people in the past and generations in the future.

We're a tribal bunch and the way we identify with what matters to us, says something about who we are.

Good fundraisers pay attention to this and are brilliant at looking for examples of support. By highlighting real life examples or case studies, we can tell stories so that others are inspired to identify in a similar way, and provoke more people to back a belief and take action.

Businesses go through the same process when a brand is built, or at least the successful ones do, look at KFC's most recent return to 'Finger licking good' tagline backed up by Barry White's 'You're the first. My last. My everything.' in 2021 UK advertisements.

Simple messages that connect (and I'm not even a big fan of fried chicken).

In order to connect effectively, there needs to be clarity, trust and away of making contact.

This is your call to action defined in a slightly different way.

Call with a clear message, try to be transparent so you build trust and allow a supporter to act without it being inconvenient.

You can substitute supporter for customer or consumer.

Keep your call to action as simple and as manageable as possible. Tell real stories and in the spirit of being genuine, don't be afraid to share fails as well as goals, because we can all identify with messing up before mopping up.

Remember to make your messages simple and retellable, and don't patronise.

Or use too many words and ideas at once.

We're living at a time with heightened noise, endless screens to scroll and we're just emerging from being more isolated and disconnected from face to face reality than ever.

To cope with the increased competition coming out of all that noise? Create authentic connections, by choose your messages and words, carefully.

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This year has involved a lot of talks to a diverse and international audience. It has been a priviledge to share my thoughts with so many people from various backgrounds.

So what have a learned? Well, quite a lot. There's some brilliant people on the training and talking circuit. My world has been predominately fundraising and not for profit in recent times, but as part of #FreelanceHER, I've been lucky to work with a whole world of digital, creative and innovative companies in Greater Manchester. Bright minds abound.

Thing is, all this training is great stuff, top marks for content. But then we have to implement the stuff we now know... into what we daily do. Weekly, not weakly. That's the tricky part.

Turning how into now.

This is where Keepace can help. We've done the research and trialled many solutions and so you can take a short cut when it comes to kickstarting yourself into more efficient and effective ways of working.

If you are a charity, have a gap in your resources and want a highly professional quick fix then help is here. If you need to raise funds immediately and you want an easy to use digital solution to boost your income then we have a selection of answers.

Done digital and now you want a doordrop? Or want to integrate the two? Then Keepace has the know-how to deliver on intergrated campaigns.

How about attracting lasting legacies and adding some sparkle to your legacy fundraising messages, we would love to unlock your supporter's will power with you.

In order to complete a mission, it's helpful to be kitted up both with knowledge and the right tools. Contact Keepace if you'd like some additional guidance or help and support.

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