St Elizabeth Hospice in Suffolk started working with MuchLoved in 2017, and have more than quadrupled their Tribute Funds in that time, raising over £1 million. We spoke to Rachel Slattery-Klein, their Individual Giving Fundraiser, for her top tips on making the most of Tribute Funds.
"Since we moved over to MuchLoved in 2017, we have grown our Tribute Funds significantly, from 150 in 2017 to over 650 today. This just shows the kind of impact using the MuchLoved platform can have for your charity; our total fundraising is now over £1 million!! The support is amazing and no question is deemed silly or too small.
There is always someone at the end of an email or phone call and the support is fantastic – I even had an answer to a question answered by the Chief Executive Jonathan on Christmas Eve one year! I am lucky to have built up a great relationship with Catherine our Account Manager, earlier this year she came and supported a funeral thank you event we held at the hospice and is always on hand to answer my bizarre questions. Training is available all the time for you and your team – you just have to ask.
Try it for yourself
The first step I would say is to love your charity site – by that I mean take some time to understand all the functionality it offers and also its full capabilities. Set up a Tribute Fund yourself as from the perspective of a family member, add photos, music and write a tribute. It gives you so much more understanding when you come to explain it.
Understand the Admin Area
Get to know the admin section through your Partner Area – look at reports and see who is really active and who is not so; explore your tributes and get to know them. The admin area will give you some great insights into your supporters and how you can help them.
Set up the 'Alerts' in your Partner Area. These can send you regular and specific updates on the activity taking place on your tribute funds, so you don't miss anything important. A good one is the weekly alert, so you can see how many new tributes were added and the total funds raised each week. Be on top of it!
We also use alerts to email us if one of our Funds have special milestone dates coming up - like anniversaries, birthdays or the date of their passing. We then light a candle on that page to let the family know we're thinking of them."
Tell everyone about Tribute Funds
"Talk about them all the time – when collecting funeral donations or if a supporter has a memory tree, offer a Tribute Fund that these can be added to. If a supporter is doing a fundraising event even if it's small explain they could set up a Tribute Fund that their friends and family could directly donate to.
Make sure the rest of your team are aware of them – shout about them! This way the events team can be offering them for your Midnight Walk, or your community nurse can mention them if a family member is saying they would like to fundraise for the care their loved one has received."
Understand all the functionality of your Tribute Funds
"Knowing all the functionality of the MuchLoved site really helps when you are approaching a supporter. For example if you have a lady in her 70s who has brought in her late husband’s funeral donations, you can ask questions about her family, and ask if they knew that we have Tribute Funds that the whole family can be involved in, i.e. put grandchildren’s drawing on the page or her daughter’s wedding photo with her dad.
If you have a work colleague of someone deceased who is enquiring about a skydive for the office in their memory – you can offer the Tribute Fund that the whole office can all have access to and gives them a focal point for their fundraising.
We often use the 'light a candle function'. At Christmas we send a ‘thinking of you and your family at Christmas time' candle. Knowing this function was available was key to our stewardship. We're looking forward to using the new virtual gifts to engage with our supporters too.
Knowing what MuchLoved can offer your supporters is really helpful and gives you more ways to connect with them, especially on a long term basis."
My main advice would be to take care of your supporters and keep connected with them. Don’t just set them up with a Tribute Fund and leave them, as there’s no point to that. Have leaflets available in reception and on your website and have as many people aware of them as possible. Lastly, be talking about them, they are a huge asset, not only to bereavement support but future fundraising."
To find out more about St Elizabeth Hospice visit their website: www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk