Globetrotting fundraiser Ligia Peña developed Greenpeace’s bequest strategy in 14 countries and as a consultant has helped many charities develop strategic, data-driven gifts-in-wills programs.  

So… How are you engaging with your donors about gifts in wills? Are you integrating it across all communication channels? Is what you’re saying nudging donors towards action and are you creating engaging journeys that inspire and delight donors? Ligia will help you with this. And she’ll take a dive deep into identifying the right prospects, moving them through a pipeline and how to create engaging and inspiring marketing materials that apply decision science principles. 

Ahead of her masterclass at Big4, we asked Ligia some questions. 

Describe your approach to life and work.   

My approach is to take everything in life and work with a healthy dose of humour, humility, and curiosity. It has served me quite well so far so I have no reason to change the formula. 

How did you get into the not-for-profit sector?   

I was always involved in non-profits from a young age and fundraising was always something charities needed help with. I would always volunteer for that. Little did I know that years later, I’d get paid for what I used to do for free. The sector pulled me in and I haven’t looked back ever since. 

Who or what inspires you?   

My inspiration comes from people and things that are weird, off-the-wall, and different from the status quo. Those who challenge common convention and push boundaries. It’s awfully exciting and motivating to me. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?   

Don’t take everything at face value; remain curious and don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge ideas, even from ‘experts’. 

How have you got through the pandemic?   

The first few months were fine, my previous job required a lot of travel and I welcomed being grounded and being forced to stay in. After a few months, I started feeling like a caged animal! It’s been rough, I won’t tell a lie. My anxiety around everything started alleviating after getting vaccinated. What helped me through everything is the support of a few special and close friends, virtually working out with a trainer, and work and school, which are both my passion.  

What has been the highlight of your year so far?  

Slowly making progress on my PhD, which is an intense endeavour when working full-time. Also having the opportunity to continue presenting at conferences around the globe despite the pandemic. I thoroughly enjoy meeting people from all over the world.  

What strategy or tactic has really been working for your organisation or clients?     

For legacy fundraising, it’s about knowing exactly which engagement opportunities to offer donors at every stage of the legacy pipeline. It’s such a pleasure to hear back from participants and clients that say they integrated what they learned from my workshops and saw an increase in responses from their donors. It’s so rewarding to hear that! 

What are you hoping audiences will get out of your masterclass at Big4?     

The framework to build a strong legacy pipeline, understand which engagement opportunities to offer at every stage and how to inspire more donors to consider a gift in will. It isn’t hard but it does require a strong framework to be successful. 

Who Ligia Peña? 

Ligia has around 20 years fundraising experience with specialist expertise in fundraising strategy, donor engagement and communications. She is also an internationally-recognised expert in gifts-in-wills. 

She has worked with a variety of nonprofit organisations including health, education, humanitarian, human rights, community, environment, arts, international development, and faith based. 

She is President of Globetrotting Fundraiser where she specialises in helping charities develop strategic, data-driven gifts-in-wills programs. 

Prior to consulting, Ligia was the Global Legacy Manager at Greenpeace International where she oversaw the organisation’s global legacy strategy in 14 countries. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Kent where she’s researching national legacy marketing campaigns as a tool to grow gifts-in-wills. 

As an AFP Master Trainer, Ligia is a sought-after and seasoned international presenter who enjoys sharing her knowledge and empowering nonprofit professionals to think about gifts-in-wills differently by daring to be creative and innovative. 

Learn more about Ligia’s Gifts in Wills masterclass at Big4 Fundraising 2021 on 26 October. 

Find out more about Big Big4 Fundraising 2021, coming to you virtually on 26-28 October.