British Trust for Ornithology – Legacies

A campaign which recognises a legacy is more than a gift in a will.

Hands holding small birds nest

The challenge.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) delivers innovative research that helps safeguard the future for Britain’s birds. But this can only be done with the continued support of a committed group of volunteers, members and donors. As an organisation that receives 55% of its funding from gifts in wills, it’s critical that a new campaign be developed to ensure this income stream continues to flourish, especially in the current public health and economic climate.

Our approach.

Unlike other fundraising campaigns, we cannot reach out far and wide with mass communications, but rather speak personally to those incredible groups of committed citizen scientists that BTO has spent decades working with. To gain a deep understanding of their motivations to pledge we held in-depth interviews with both donors and members, and along with insights gained from stakeholder workshops and analysis, we could define what a legacy really means. 

The solution.

The insights we gained from our audience research were extraordinary. Potential donors have been part of BTO for years, investing their time, energy and passion and the experience was life-changing, even profound. Recognition of this long history of commitment inspired the campaign ‘Your legacy? It started the day you joined us.’

Considering the donor journey from the very first point of engagement through to pledging and beyond was an approach which resonated with BTO members and legators alike. The fascination with passing on a legacy through engagement and sharing knowledge satisfied a desire to educate the next generation and ensure that BTO lives on for years to come.

The visual language is calm and elegant, using linear illustrations to represent the journey of a donor and the joy experienced along the way. A soft and limited colour palette helps distinguish the legacy offer from other BTO communications and reflects our audience’s connection to, and passion for nature. Imagery has human connection at its heart. From the feeling of holding a bird, to admiring their beauty, each image should show the close relationship people have with our nation’s birds.

Outline illustrations of birds on green background for British Trust for Ornithology legacies campaign
Couple birdwatching by the coast watching seagull flying
Outline of bird flying through British Trust for Ornithology typeface Formata
Campaign guidelines showing examples of layout for British Trust for Ornithology legacies

Beyond campaign launch, the creation of a campaign playbook will enable BTO and their internal team to communicate the legacy offer in a consistent manner and the development of a campaign strategy and collaborative working will improve engagement, conversion, retention and growth. 

Success stories.


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