Home Legacy Futures logo

For the last three years, Legacy Foresight has been collecting evidence on the current scale and shape of digital legacy fundraising through the Digital Legacy Insights consortium research programme (previously known as Legacy Fundraising 2.0).

Topics and key learnings to date

Talking about legacies on social media

The first area of focus was understanding more about legacies in the context of social media and what discussion was going on around legacies on different channels via social listening.

Our findings showed that volumes of social content around legacy giving was very low and significantly lower than other areas/categories (20 times lower than in-memory giving for which we ran a similar exercise a couple of years before). And there was very little user generated content.

Legacy content that was present on social media was mainly driven by charities and wider stakeholder groups rather than supporters. As a consequence, content was very practical and engaged with supporters on a functional level, informing and educating around legacies rather than appealing to emotions and entertaining or inspiring supporters through strong storytelling techniques. The one exception to this, which occurred after our research took place, was the Greenpeace/Succession legacy story which was a brilliant example of capitalising on a cultural moment to open up a conversation about legacies in the wider world.

Boomers and their online usage

The focus then shifted to understanding more about boomers’ online usage and how they related to organisations and charities online.

Their relationships with commercial companies appeared to be very transactional; however, their relationship with charities online was much more purposeful. Boomers were interested in more than just basic information from charity communications. We identified three key pillars which were instrumental in engaging boomers and fostering longterm commitment (or loyalty) to charities:

  • Connection – the ability to personally connect to/with the charity’s work
  • Relevance – the ability to see/understand the importance of the charity’s work
  • Credibility – the ability to see the impact of the work and how the charity is making a difference

Charities and their online legacy presence

The programme then took a more individual approach for consortium members and focused on an in-depth evaluation of how charities were engaging with supporters through their legacy webpages, using a framework developed around our three key pillars: connection, relevance and credibility. Our analysis identified large variations across the consortium in the way in which charities presented their legacy offering online both in terms of levels of information provided and the way it was communicated. In addition to the overall snapshot, member charities received bespoke actionable insights to help them refine and improve their webpages.

Our programme for 2024 – Online Wills

For 2024, our focus is shifting again to explore a key digital topic in the world of legacy fundraising – online wills.

Within the legacy sector there has been much discussion about the merits and pitfalls of online wills. And online will writing services have valuable insights about their customer base, which they share in different ways with their partner charities and the wider sector. However, we feel there is a gap when it comes to understanding online wills from a will-writer’s point of view so will be plugging that with our Digital Legacy Insights programme in 2024.

Our research will shine a spotlight on the world of online wills and will focus on understanding online wills from a consumer perspective. Through a combination of desk research and consumer research (both qualitative and quantitative) we aim to get a snapshot of the current online wills landscape in terms of uptake and growth over time and identify the current limitations of online wills and future opportunities. We will dig deeper and focus on understanding online wills through the eyes of the consumer – why and how people chose them, their experience of the online will writing journey and where and how charities fit into their decision-making.

Interested in finding out more about this exciting programme

If you are interested in finding out more about this exciting programme, you can read the Proposal for more information. Deadline for subscription is 12th January 2024. We’d love you to join us!

Claire Truswell

Contact us

For more information on how to join please send us an email.