Three things you need to know about in memory fundraising

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In memory fundraising

Elizabeth Kessick, head of insight at JustGiving, is presenting on Creating a digital legacy – maximising in memory giving at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention. She shares three things that charities should know in order to make the most out of in memory fundraising.

More and more people are choosing to remember someone close to them by setting up an online fundraising page – in fact fundraising in memory on JustGiving has increased by 141% since 2010. Earlier this year we surveyed over 300 in memory fundraisers. This is what they told us.

1. Make it easy for your in memory supporters

Most people setting up in memory fundraising pages are related to the deceased and going through the bereavement process. Understandably it’s an emotionally charged time for them and they need to be able to quickly find the right charity to support and fundraise for without any hassle. Make sure your website has a section dedicated to in memory fundraising with a quick link to setting up a page, and examples of how to do so.

2. Thank sooner rather than later

In memory fundraisers want to be acknowledged and thanked. Even though their pages may stay open for up to five years, most fundraisers told us that they’d like to be thanked within six months of setting up the page. Thanking is a key way of building a relationship with these fundraisers.  Remember that this is an emotional time for them, so make sure that your initial communications with them are sensitive and carry the right tone.

3. Build new supporter relationships

Ninety-eight per cent of in memory fundraisers say that they will support your charity again. These people may be new to your database as often the charity that they choose reflects the interests or medical condition of the deceased. Reach out to them with opportunities to participate in further fundraising events and share information about your cause. An appropriate time to reach out would be around the 12 month mark and before the 18 month mark. These fundraisers also have the potential to become committed donors if you steward them in the right way, with lots of information about where the money raised goes, and how they can help in the future.

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Elizabeth helped transform JustGiving from a tiny start-up in 2001 into becoming the world's largest online fundraising community. As head of insight she’s responsible for understanding the behaviour and needs of JustGiving’s 13 million + users.