Humour 'crucial' to legacy appeals

Charities should use humour and soft language in their efforts to persuade donors to leave legacies, according to new research by marketing agency TDA.

The agency has completed the first stage of an extensive study, commissioned by a consortium of five major UK charities, into what prompts donors to remember charities in their wills. The study involved six focus groups of regular donors aged between 50 and 75.

Participants said they felt alienated by blunt requests or direct references to death, but humorous phrases such as "kick the bucket" received a positive response.

Jill Marsh, legacy manager at Save the Children, a member of the consortium, said: "It has been a real insight and it gives us some great pointers in terms of focusing our legacy fundraising and shaping our future strategy."

The second phase of the study is expected to be completed by August.

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