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Our Work

Pledger Stewardship


British Heart Foundation


We helped BHF identify the unique motivations and needs of its’ legacy pledgers, to build closer relationships and create a game-changing stewardship experience.

The challenge

Legacies account for half of the BHF’s income which in turn funds 25% of the UK’s research into heart and circulatory diseases, but only 42% of pledgers actually end up leaving a gift in their Will. BHF needed to understand pledger’s motivations and strengthen them to encourage more supporters to follow through with their pledges, help beat heartbreak forever. A key barrier was that staff didn’t feel comfortable about talking to gifts in wills.

To optimise BHF’s legacy experience to increase the number of pledgers that become legators and provide an experience that BHF supporter-facing staff felt confident to activate.

The solution

Our insight with existing pledgers uncovered 4 different motivations for someone to leave a gift to a medical charity. For each segment, we unearthed their different attitudes to being thanked and engaged, how often they wanted to be involved and what kind of information they wanted to receive. Using this Insight, we created 8 development principles. We used this to co-create with BHF staff and test 3 new stewardship journeys  for BHF pledgers from those that wanted low engagement to those that wanted to become best friends.

We created a comprehensive action plan with 20 strands of work from training the Community Fundraising team on how to have an ‘about you’ conversation (to learn about each pledger in ways which enable BHF to provide the best possible experience), to the key features of the welcome packs and updates. BHF worked with Consider Creative to use these development principles and work strands to build their new Legacy experience for pledgers and successfully deliver inspiration training for BHF staff across the UK.

The impact

Prior to this research, pledgers were over-contacted by multiple BHF teams, asking them to do more and not referencing the gift they have pledged to leave. They knew this wasn’t good and was leading to being removed from their Wills but we didn’t know what they needed instead. BHF have now been able to start implementing an insight-led journey, putting pledgers in control of the relationship they have with BHF and catering for an audience that can be polarised on their attitudes to further engagement, as well as capitalising on internal supporter-facing teams who are keen to understand pledgers better and offer them a personalised experience. BHF are confident that this will deepen their pledgers engagement to BHF and create stronger loyalty.

Client feedback

Our work with Good Innovation has enabled us to create powerful relationships with our pledger supporters. As a team and an organisation, we learnt a great deal from this process and would highly recommend working with Good Innovation.

Fiona Riley

Head of Legacy Marketing

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