Respected industry leader Richard Radcliffe recently described gifts-in-wills (GIW) as “the greatest opportunity in a generation.”

And yet, while our ageing baby boomer population holds a huge amount of the nation’s wealth, the reality is that only 11% of Aussies aged 55+ have included a gift to charity in their will. 

So how can charities encourage GIW amongst their supporters and the wider Australian public? One surprising answer is through targeted social media campaigns, Here’s how to get going:

1. Understand your audience

The first step in launching an effective GIW social media campaign is taking the time to understand your audience. Australians tend to write their wills at three main moments in life:

As young parents buying property and wanting to protect their children’s future

During their late 50s to mid-60s as they plan for retirement 

In their mid-70s and beyond as they prepare their final will 

It’s not just younger people on social media. You can reach each of these audiences on Facebook. In fact, 65% of Aussies aged 45+ are active on the platform. 

Each audience has different desires and motivations when writing their wills. Make sure to focus on the donor and the future they want to create with their legacy, rather than your organisation’s immediate needs.

2. Set clear objectives

Now that you have defined your target audience and understood their motivations and desires, it’s time to set objectives for your campaign. 

Do you want to simply build awareness of GIW among your target audiences? 

Do you want people to download your GIW guide? 

Is your goal to move warm donors through your GIW pipeline?

It’s important to be clear from the outset how you will track your results. Though remember, only three in every 10 gifts may be known to your charity, so create your campaign objectives accordingly.

3. Plan your donor journey

It’s important to plan how you will nurture your audience over the long term as they spend time considering whether they want to leave a gift in their will to your organisation. 

If someone has registered to receive your GIW guide, what will their next touchpoint be?

Have you planned an email journey for prospects to help them as they consider a gift?

At what point in the journey will prospective GIW donors receive a call from someone in your team?

4. Start testing

The great thing about social media campaigns is you can start small, test different audiences and messaging, then refine as you learn more about what is working. Try different combinations of headlines, body copy, images and audience interests to see what works best. 

Finally, make sure to take advantage of those key periods in the year when people are more likely to be considering writing or updating their will, such as tax time and Include a Charity Week in September.

Success in GIW won’t happen overnight, but through careful targeting, compelling messaging, and ongoing testing, I am confident you will be able to grow your GIW program through social media. 

Ashleigh Yardy led UNICEF UK’s digital GIW acquisition program and is now Digital Strategist at Donor Republic. Find out how your organisation can boost the success of your GIW program by starting a conversation with the team at Donor Republic today.