Program Overview (The Nuts and Bolts)

The 5% Legacy Solution is a strategic process that provides your charity with marketing, cultivation and stewardship collateral and systems so that you can secure more legacy gifts from your stakeholders. It also provides training and coaching so that your staff have the expertise and skills to generate legacy gifts and steward legacy donors effectively.


Theoretical Foundations

For the last 25 years the planned giving profession has assumed that donors make rational decisions when they decide to leave a charitable legacy and that the role of the charity is to support this process by providing gift-planning advice and information to individuals. This assumption has shaped the planned giving profession and the strategies charities use to secure legacy gifts.

Recent neurological research on decision-making  and a seminal work on legacy giving and the brain by Dr. Russell James  have questioned this assumption. Rather than being a rational decision, there is now compelling evidence to suggest that the decision to leave a charitable legacy is a triggered by emotions.

At S.T. Legacy Group, our interactions with legacy donors have left us in no doubt that legacy gifts are triggered by emotions. Knowing this, we designed the 5% Legacy Solution to speak to the emotional side of decision-making. Our systems inspire and stimulate donors. We focus on values, beliefs and life-stories, not on gift illustrations and tax savings, because we know the latter rarely motivate or trigger legacy gifts.

We’ve found that when charities switch from the rational decision-making approach of gift planning to the emotional focus of the 5% Legacy Solution, they see a 20-fold increase in legacy gift commitments and leads.

Our strategic process takes between 4 and 8 months to implement. We tailor our deliverables to your budget. Whereas all organizations receive a comprehensive legacy engagement system some organizations may choose to purchase additional marketing collateral (like the legacy video) to further enhance their programs.

We believe knowledge sharing among organizations provides a stimulating and supportive environment for our clients’ staff, so we offer opportunities to engage with other like-minded clients by learning implementation best practices as a group during the development and training stages of the program.

Phase One:  Legacy Development Plan  

  • Preparing your organization for a legacy campaign, getting buy-in
  • Identifying your stakeholder base and key legacy prospect pools
  • Establishing goals, targets and success indicators
  • Developing a pilot legacy survey for identifying donor intentions, motivations and barriers.
  • Developing a critical path.

Phase Two:   Legacy Marketing and Solicitation

  • A legacy program brand and key messaging
  • A legacy advert
  • A legacy survey to solicit gifts and identify donors and prospects (on-line survey system is Optional)
  • Strategy to disseminate the survey
  • Integrating legacy giving into your development and communication mix


Phase Three: Follow-up and Stewardship

  • Follow-up strategy with legacy prospects and donors
  • Gift closure strategy
  • Donor recognition and stewardship
  • Data management and storage
  • Crisis Management

 Phase Four: Handling Estates and Realizing Gifts

We’ll train your staff and volunteers so they can use the marketing, solicitation and stewardship systems we develop for you. We’ll also coach them to keep them on task, so that once you have a plan and system in place, you implement the process as efficiently as possible.

Success Metrics

Help our sector gain insight by taking part in our Success Metrics study via a survey.

5% Legacy Solution

“The survey was a tremendous success.”

- Leslie Howard, Planned Giving Consultant with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

See how the 5% Legacy Solution can work for your organization.