Below is a quick summary of some of the key thoughts from our guests.
Hannah Saunders – The Kite Factory
- Hannah Saunders at The Kite Factory found that a lot of charities they work with initially paused activity at the beginning of the UK’s lockdown, but have since made their campaigns live again and haven’t seen any negative comments or implications from this.
- Hannah recommended that charities don’t change their messaging to imply the current situation as it could create links that weren’t in people’s minds. Legacy messaging is usually safe and considerate anyway, so you don’t need to worry too much about this.
- The Kite Factory has seen a positive impact from an increase in the ‘free will’ search term, and they have been able to offer guide packs as a response. They have been seeing the same trends as last year and are spending the same as last year.
- If they are moving spends earlier, it’s to take advantage of lower media costs. As advertising prices have dropped but viewership has increased, charities are able to reach audiences now that you normally couldn’t, for example, there has been an increase in young people watching daytime TV. If ad performance drops, it’s balanced out by the lower media costs.
- The Kite Factory are generally running business as usual, but they will be re-forecasting over the next few months. Hannah recommends that you seek to understand what support and services people need right now and keep track of what people are engaging with. The brands that will come out the strongest from this will be the ones where people feel they have supported them. A way to do this is to say thank you to your current supporter base and reiterate the importance of their donations.
Allan Freeman and Lucinda Darby – Remember a Charity in your Will
- Remember a Charity in your Will are currently focusing on supporting their members. They have been shifting away from legacy messaging to talking about how member charities are supporting their communities and promoting individual case studies. They have seen a positive response to this approach. People are thinking of others during this time which presents a good opportunity for charities.
- They are still working towards events they have planned in September, and they are preparing the moment when this period is over, when legacies will be really important. They maintain that memberships are still strong and partnerships are more important now than ever.
- They have seen a surge in demand for will writing, and so it is important to continue the communication with solicitors to ensure gifts in wills are offered as an option. They note that as long as three people witness the signing of the will it’s valid, whether that’s in person while socially distancing or online over web conference call. They think courts are more likely to take a lenient view of wills completed in this time.
David Roberts – Bequeathed
- David commented on the increase in wills being written during this time, which may be partially due to people having more time on their hands. Bequeathed’s charity clients are still promoting will schemes, and David suggested that you can promote these in subtle ways, as a service that the charity offers.
- Bequeathed is seeing the same level of pledge coming through, for all different types of charities, but they are seeing an increase in the amount. It’s business as usual for Bequeathed’s charity clients, so if you have a will scheme in place you can continue to promote it, just tone the messaging down.
Matt Smith – London’s Air Ambulance Charity
- London’s Air Ambulance Charity postponed their DM pack campaign that was due to land end of March but they will reschedule this for later in the year. Their priorities at the moment are engaging with supporters and making sure they are communicating a single message across all their platforms.
- Matt said that they will reforecast for the year once the dust settles and they have more information. He said that they could look at hosting some virtual events for pledges but only when the restrictions lift slightly as it’s not practical for them during total lockdown.