Earlier this year, National Australia Bank made a sobering prediction, warning that economic growth would likely slow to 0.7% by the end of 2023. Living standards have also taken a noticeable dip as millions of Australian households tighten their budgets due to the cost-of-living crisis. For charities, these challenging market conditions inevitably impact the environment in which they operate. Many supporters have less disposable income and are left with little choice but to cut their charitable spending.
This pattern of behaviour is nothing new. After the global financial crisis in 2007-08, a Queensland University of Technology study found that charitable giving by Australians dropped by a total of 15% over two consecutive years. It took six years before the total amount of donations returned to pre-GFC levels.
At the same time, charities and NFPs are not immune to rising costs and will inevitably have to look closely at their own budgets. These challenges will be further aggravated within some organisations as they find their services may be stretched by increased demand. In other words, they must do more with less.
Despite how it may sound, it’s not all doom and gloom. The NFP sector is known for its ability to thrive amid crisis and, although nobody would ever wish for one, a crisis can lead to particularly compelling campaigns that attract new supporters and encourage existing ones to dig deeper. There are also fundraising tools that can be leveraged amid economic uncertainty which can generate impressive revenue streams for charities while minimising financial impact on supporters. Specifically, online wills.
Online wills are far more affordable than traditional estate planning. In fact, Gathered Here wills are completely free for users to write, and all will-writers are eligible for free updates for life. Promoting this type of legacy giving amid economic uncertainty removes the immediate financial burden from supporters, all the while delivering real-world value. Supporters can access a useful estate planning tool completely free, regardless of whether they pledge a gift or not. This offer can build greater rapport and signals a less transactional relationship between supporter and charity.
Plus, online wills can be a low-cost yet highly effective revenue generator for charities and NFPs. In 2022, an estimated $224 million was pledged in online wills written via Gathered Here. Across the same year, the average residual gift was estimated to be worth $83,000 while the average monetary gift was worth $6,500.
Despite the potential for significant revenue, establishing an online wills partnership and executing a digital bequest campaign doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Charities and NFPs can partner with Gathered Here on a pro-bono basis if they choose. Those that opt for a premium partnership can tap into even greater value. Thousands of will-writers visit the Gathered Here platform every month and organisations can leverage this visibility to not only attract new supporters and increase income but also to collect contact information (with the explicit permission of will-writers, of course).
For many, online wills offer the opportunity for phenomenal return on a modest investment. Further, they are sensitive to the needs of supporters who may themselves be struggling and provide genuine value regardless of whether a gift is pledged or not.
To learn more about how an online wills program can drive revenue for your organisation amid economic uncertainty, get in touch with our team today, or book a free demo.