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HOW ONLINE BOOKS ARE HELPING DRIVE LEGACY GIVING

HOW ONLINE BOOKS ARE HELPING DRIVE LEGACY GIVING

The value of legacy giving is indisputable. Gifts in wills make up just over a quarter of all charitable donations among the top 100 UK fundraisers (Charity Financials Top 100 Fundraisers Spotlight report) and constitute 14% of all fundraised income received by UK charities.

What’s more, unlike most areas of fundraising, legacies are projected to continue growing by around 2.7% per annum over the next five years – from £2.8bn in 2017 – to reach £3.3bn in 2021 (Legacy Foresight’s Legacy Giving 2017 report).
At a time when a challenging socio-economic landscape increases the pressure on charities to be continually growing their income streams ahead of inflation, this marks them out as particularly significant element in the fundraising mix. However the subject of gifts in wills can sometimes prove difficult to introduce into fundraising communication meaning that opportunities for doing so end up being overlooked.

 

AN EASY WAY TO PROMOTE LEGACY GIVING

Our online legacy books were originally designed to help charities build stronger relationships with their supporters – being able to recognise, celebrate and engage with supporters and their families in real time, from anywhere in the world. Many of these charities have identified having an online book as being an important factor in helping them promote awareness of and further drive legacy giving, from gifts in wills to living legacies.

Michael Clark, Gifts in Wills and In-Memory Manager of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust sums up his organisation’s collaboration with The Online Book Company thus:
“The importance of gifts in Wills to the long term aims of a charity, and thanking the supporters for including a gift is of paramount importance…We must take the same time to thank donors during their lifetime and after their death as we do in influencing beforehand, and I am delighted to be working with the Online Book Company to make this happen.”

 

A BESPOKE, COST-EFFECTIVE APPROACH

Ranging from the simple to the multi-functional, our online books are always tailored to fulfil each and every charitable organisation’s specific needs and budget, while being designed to reflect distinct brand identities. Creating a dedicated and permanent online space, they fully integrate into a website and are accessible from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

A BETTER WAY OF SAYING THANK YOU

Online books make it easier to have a conversation with supporters about legacy giving. The impact of gifts in wills and living legacies can easily be demonstrated and the books are a user-friendly and accessible means of recognising, celebrating and thanking legacy donors. Donors’ families and friends regularly revisit and contribute to these books on an on-going basis.

“There is nothing quite like the sanctity of a traditional Book of Remembrance. The online book is not designed to replace this but to extend its reach, all the better connecting people and causes, and offering solace.”
Jonathan Haward, The Online Book Company

 

A NEW CHAPTER

After all, people’s values, personal interests and experiences bring them to believe in, volunteer for and support particular causes and charities. Honouring their legacies in an online book ensures their contribution is never forgotten:

“RNIB’s [online] Book of Remembrance gives us the opportunity to recognise those who have left a gift to us in their Will. These gifts are vital as they fund nearly a third of our work, making it possible for more people with sight loss to achieve their potential and face the future with confidence.”

To find out more about our online books and how we can help you, call 01872 226800 or email: jonathan@theonlinebookcompany.com

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Tim CHOW ONLINE BOOKS ARE HELPING DRIVE LEGACY GIVING

How Online Books Helped Extend the Season Of Goodwill

You may not wish, in the words of Wizzard’s seasonal anthem, that it could be Christmas every day, but wouldn’t it be great if you could find a way of making that festive spirit of giving last longer?

Towards the latter part of last year a number of hospices chose to extend the scope, reach and lifespan of their Light Up A Life campaigns by complementing their traditional fundraising with one of our dedicated online books.

Hospice Light Up A Life online book of dedications

With all the data now in, the results of these online campaigns were quite outstanding and we couldn’t wait to share some of the highlights:

Increased Donations

Online donors were a generous bunch – almost half opted to give more than the suggested minimum donation with campaigns that didn’t stipulate a minimum sum attracting overall higher single donations of, on average, £16.57. And we must mention the fact that one online book netted a remarkable £2000 single donation!

GDPR Should Not To Be Feared!

While the engagement that the online books fostered was encouraging in itself, it soon became apparent that being bold about embracing GDPR paid dividends.

Hospices that sought 4-way GDPR-compliant opt-ins from their supporters emerged with the highest rates of engagement: a whopping 77% rate of opt-ins as opposed to a mere 47% for a single tick box. 67% of those opting in, favoured email communications, with over a fifth choosing interaction with multiple marketing channels. From these findings it would seem that GDPR presents a valuable opportunity to build a more engaged audience.

Stronger Supporter Relationships

Supporters enjoyed being able to see and share their dedications and donations in real time, engaging with the hospices at their own pace. The books focused on making it as easy as possible for supporters to interact – particularly noteworthy was the online booking for Light Up A Life services and the capability of offering a choice of payment options. Those that offered multiple payment methods garnered the highest levels of engagement and lowest rates of abandonment.

Extended Reach

Going online with a dedicated book extended both the reach and lifespan of the Light Up A Life campaigns. Supporters, family members and friends who weren’t in the hospice’s immediate area could join in and feel closer to the cause and the facility for replicating physical entries, online, was cited by many as a particularly lovely feature.

Reduced Admin

Getting dedications and donations direct online cut down on the amount of time and money hospice staff had to spend on admin. Capabilities such as online bookings made planning a whole lot easier too.

Great ROI

Setting up an online book garnered a three to three and a half times return on investment for the hospices as well as making it easy to measure results.

An Online Book Isn’t Just For Christmas

Some of the hospices that adopted online books for their 2017 Light Up A Life campaigns found that in keeping them open a little longer they were already getting interaction for the 2018 campaign. As a result they chose to keep their books open all year round.

Now their supporters can remember and donate on birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions too. Light Up A Life 2018 will see them coming up with a customised seasonal design for an additional boost to their fundraising efforts.

 

To find out more about how our books could help with fundraising, supporter engagement and any number of initiatives, call 01872 226800 or email us at jonathan@theonlinebookcompany.com

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Tim CHow Online Books Helped Extend the Season Of Goodwill

Brother Kames Kimpton, Online Book of Remembrance

Online Book of Remembrance to Brother Kames Kimpton

We are honoured to create the Book of Remembrance to Brother James Kimpton after a lifetime of service ‘Reaching the Unreached’ (RTU).
Brother Kimpton started working to better the opportunities of those in abject poverty in Sri Lanka in 1952.
Following the expulsion of all foreigners in 1964 he moved to India, managing a training school for destitute boys in Madurai.

Setting himself and others the highest standards of integrity and commitment working with RTU over 52 years has organised the building more than 8700 homes and 2500 wells.
Deeply spiritual he relied on his Christian faith in building a thriving organisation admired throughout the world.
Never retiring, he passed away in India in October 2017 being sorely missed by those he helped and worked with to the end.

This book is rather special in featuring messages in both English and Tamil, being the local language.
https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/RTUpeoplepastandpres/0
The online books support both typed and pasted non-latin characters ensuring inclusion of communities worldwide.
Reading the inspiring messages in the book is a fitting tribute to a very special humanitarian who cared more for others.

The Online Book of Remembrance to Brother James Kimpton
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Tim CBrother Kames Kimpton, Online Book of Remembrance

Rotary International

Rotary International call for help

We were flattered to receive a telephone call from Rotary International in Tanzania asking if we could help them by creating an Online Book of Condolence to celebrate the life of Sam Owori, their incoming International President, who died before taking up his office.

We put together an Individual condolence book for Sam which has received some lovely messages from literally all over the world.

Rotary International book of Condolence to President Elect, Sam Owiri
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Tim CRotary International

Fears of GDPR

Fears of GDPR

It might be that the with many in the 3rd Sector taking well deserved Summer holidays, news is a bit thin and there appears to be an underlying fear about the implications of GDPR.

We very much subscribe to the view that, GDPR should not be regarded as a threat but much more an opportunity to clean up one’s databases and re engage on a stronger footing with those who want to be engaged with.

Word in the press has been that the RNLI’s early GDPR grooming has proved to be a great success.

GDPR is all about keeping in contact with willing supporters via targeted campaigns not bombarding historic mailing lists of uninterested recipients. GDPR compliance is the impetus for good housekeeping and demonstrates the respect organisations have to their supporters and wider society by reducing spam mail.
Implementing GDPR compliant contact preferences should be viewed as the opportunity to enhance an organisation’s reputation as well as secure themselves from financial damage with the ICO very willing to publicise and prosecute.

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Tim CFears of GDPR

Firefighters Memorial Book

Firefighters Memorial Book

The Firefighters’ Memorial Trust Online Book is the probably one of the most comprehensive books we have produced and has the details of every known fire-fighter who has died in Service since 1754.

This includes chapters for those members of the Salvage Corps, whilst on Military Service including the Boer War, Fire Watchers and Fire Guards from the Second World War and those actively being researched.

It really is a remarkable historical tome and is the Only place in the world where all the records are held in one place and fully available for the public to gain access and look up those relatives who may have been in the Fire service.

Members of the public are invited to help by submitting details on unidentified individuals and incomplete records.

Included in the book is a chapter listing those whose anniversary falls on today, from 1754 to last year.
This Day in History

Particularly poignant are the darkest days of the World War 2 Blitz, claiming the lives of scores of Firefighters, Fire Watchers and Fire Guards serving in cities and towns around the UK.

List of names in The Firefighters Memorial Trust book
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Tim CFirefighters Memorial Book

Making a Move for the Royal Signals Memorial Book

Flash move for the Royal Signals Memorial Book

This month has seen a technological upgrade to Royal Signals Memorial Book, we are proud to to have produced and host for the Royal Signals.

Their original book was designed using “Flash” technology which is no longer being supported …. the natural successor is HTML5 which works incredibly well across all platforms and has none of the device limitations endured by its predecessor.

The new book was launched with a flurry of social media sent out by the Royal Signals which resulted in lots of re engagement from their supporters, old and new.

Please visit the book, you may discover a relative or ancestor inside.

List of names on The Royal Signals Memorial Book
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Tim CMaking a Move for the Royal Signals Memorial Book

Saying thank you to your Volunteers

SAYING “THANK YOU” TO YOUR VOLUNTEERS

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward

If, in the words of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” then those two little words, “Thank You,” should be the easiest.

We say them every day, in a whole variety of situations, often without thinking too much about them. But when the idea of saying an organisational “thank you” comes up, things can get trickier. It becomes something that isn’t said often enough or doesn’t get communicated in a fitting and appropriate manner.

Demonstrating gratitude and recognising volunteer contribution matters on a number of levels particularly as what volunteers bring – their time and something of themselves – is always unique and personal.

 

Volunteers – at the heart of making things happen

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many charities and charitable organisations. Working alongside and complementing the roles played by paid staff, they strengthen teams and bring their skills, experience and motivation to the cause. In the words of the chief economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, “their impact on society is much larger than most people think.” Their economic value, adding some £40billion to UK GDP is the easiest to quantify and understand, but the less measurable social and personal benefits they bring must never be underestimated.

 

 

Why saying “thank you” matters

Volunteer recruitment, training and management is time-consuming so it’s in both your organisation’s and volunteers’ best interests to make your relationship as fulfilling as it possibly can be. When an organisation works within constrained resources and has its eye firmly fixed on its purpose, taking time for reflection can get pushed down the list of priorities.

Expressing appreciation reassures your volunteers, letting them know that their contribution is making a difference, building their engagement with and commitment to your cause. The recognition that genuine appreciation brings can further motivate them and, if done publicly, can also generate positive publicity and build awareness for your cause.

 

Appreciation builds ongoing relationships

Thanking volunteers is all about developing relationships with them. Your current volunteers are crucial to your operations on a day-to-day, project delivery basis but at the same time they also act as ambassadors at your events and within their own communities. In this role they raise awareness of, and affinity for, your organisation, bringing in the support of their friends, family and colleagues. In time, they and their loved ones may become donors and legators.

If not taking volunteers’ generosity for granted is crucial, it’s just as important not to give ill-judged thanks – a perfunctory nod, communication via an impersonal “send-all” email or insincere sentiment can cause lasting damage. So how you say thank you matters and should play a vital role in your volunteer management strategy.

 

Finding a powerful way to say “thank you”

Ideas for celebrating the work of volunteers range from sending simple but heartfelt handwritten messages to arranging special events; from mentions in your organisation’s annual report to a “Volunteer of the Month” scheme.

In recognising the importance and benefits of saying “thank you” on a regular and ongoing basis, one of our clients, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has created the SSAFA Volunteer Book 2017.

 

Saying thank you to your Volunteers

 
This online book is a dedicated space for volunteers to share their experiences, talk about their often very personal reasons for getting involved with the charity and see themselves honoured for their contribution. It’s a powerful way of building a lasting tribute to their commitment and strengthening their sense of purpose and community.

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Tim CSaying thank you to your Volunteers

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ORGANISATION’S ANNIVERSARY

Anniversaries, birthdays, significant milestones – why do we put so put so much emphasis on them?

First of all, the science: Art Markman, renowned cognitive scientist at the University of Texas explains: “numbers are a mathematical construct yet our perception of numbers is affected by our experience with them.” What we do is make sense of the world through our relationship with numbers, “we mark landmarks in time like birthdays and anniversaries as a way of remembering what we have done in that time period. They make the passing months and years more memorable.”

A time to celebrate

Individually and collectively, we find comfort in the numbers that mark significant numerical milestones and these can become important occasions for celebration. It’s a time to draw breath, pause and take stock.

Your company or organisation’s anniversary is no different. It’s an opportunity to look back at what’s been achieved, to trace your organisational journey in terms of the passage of time and the emotional journey that’s been travelled, and to thank customers, employees, supporters and stakeholders.

Look to the future

Even more importantly that organisational ‘drawing a line in the sand’ is an excellent platform for looking to the future by reinvigorating your sense of purpose, boosting your profile and reaching new audiences.

A simple Internet search will reveal any number of ideas that can make your anniversary celebrations stand-out newsworthy. But it’s worth avoiding the temptation of ‘just getting on with it’ and take the time to begin your anniversary project with that all-important, objective step back:

Think strategy before tactics

Align the anniversary with strategic business goals to ensure that marking that significant milestone really does give your organisation a powerful boost.

A milestone, however significant for your organisation, isn’t automatically newsworthy in itself. Think how, with the anniversary spotlight trained on your organisation, you can create news hooks – run and publish survey findings, plug into a ‘bigger picture,’ a complementary news story or development, and build positive PR around your announcements of say, new initiatives or growth plans.

Take time to understand how past achievements can contribute to informing future work, and how any celebrations will reflect the culture of your organisation.

Take the time to plan the strategic messages – both internal (eg employees, volunteers, stakeholders) and external (eg supporters, advocates, customers, end-users), that you’ll be conveying throughout the anniversary timeframe.

Have a plan

An anniversary rarely creeps up on you without warning so there’s no excuse for not planning every initiative, partnership, media opportunity and event in advance (and down to the last detail), including how everything ties in to your over-arching objectives.

Set a budget

Establish budgetary parameters for your celebrations as part of the planning process and then stick to them! Again, refer back to how the expenditure allocated will yield a measurable return on investment, eg an upturn in supporter engagement or funds raised.

Make it last – part one

Don’t just focus activities onto one day but make the most of your milestone by keeping the story going throughout the celebratory period, eg plan separate events for discrete audience groups and engage in pre- and post-event publicity.

Make it last – part two

Consider creating memorabilia, souvenirs and/or a special anniversary logo, closely allied to existing brand guidelines, to enhance marketing activity throughout the year.

Online books are one of the most cost-effective ways of creating an ongoing and lasting legacy from your anniversary year PR and marketing activity.

We love anniversaries!

At the Online Book Company we create online books for our clients that are always bespoke and designed to integrate with existing brand guidelines, websites and initiatives. They provide a dedicated, versatile space to fulfil any number of anniversary year objectives, from highlighting volunteer or employee stories to raising funds for a particular campaign.

In the true spirit of celebration, our books are a powerful way to build relationships, affinity and engagement. Accessible from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, they allow the people who matter most to you to interact, share and contribute to something they care about. Our service can extend to supporting your organisation to get the most out of your book with integrated social media and email marketing campaigns.

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Jonathan HawardHOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ORGANISATION’S ANNIVERSARY

2016 for The Online Book Company

This year, The Online Book Company has had the massive privilege of working with so many people for so many good causes.

We have had the wonderful honour of learning more about and remembering the memory of such inspiring people such as Martyn Heighton (Director of National Historic Ships UK), Nicole Bourque (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology) as well as the firefighters we have lost & the brave people from the Royal Corps of Signals.

We are also thrilled to be able to celebrate the achievements of awe-inspiring people such as Harry Singha who reached a very special milestone of 30 years of professional service in philanthropist. He has helped many young people overcome their fears and problems with his brilliant workshops and meditation services.

This year was also the Queen’s 90th birthday and we were given the absolute privilege of creating an online birthday book where anyone can leave a birthday message for her Majesty. Further, at the end of 2016, we were given the opportunity to create “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries Online Book” in order to help raise money to help fund the historic addition Westminster Abbey which is due to open in 2018!

We are looking forward to seeing who we will meet & what projects come in 2017. We all hope you had a great 2016 and we would like to wish you a Happy New Year for 2017.

To view all of the books we created in 2016, please look at the links below:

Harry Singha – Book of Value

www.tolbc.com/harrysingha

 

Celebrating Erin

www.tolbc.com/celebratingerin

 

 In Memory of Martyn Heighton

www.tolbc.com/InMemoryOfMartynHeighton

 

In Memory of Nicole Bourque

www.tolbc.com/InMemoryOfNicole

 

 Erskine

www.tolbc.com/erskinebook

 

The Queen’s Birthday Book

www.TheQueensBirthdayBook.com

 

Royal Corps of Signals

www.tolbc.com/signalsbook

 

 St Catherine’s Church

www.tolbc.com/stcatherineschurch

 

St David’s Hospice Care

www.tolbc.com/stdavidshospicecare 

 

The Firefighters Memorial Trust

http://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/firefightermemorialtrust

 

 Westminster Abbey – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries

www.westminster-abbey-galleries.org

 

If you would like to raise awareness, increase engagement and funds for your charity or project or simply honour a loved one, contact us to find out how we can create an online book for you.

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Katherine George2016 for The Online Book Company