4 Steps to Reboot Your Legacy Program

Has your Legacy Program gone dormant? Follow these steps to get back on track.

In January 2018, we kicked off the first in a year of Legacy Webinars to support and advance your camp’s efforts to re-launch and support your Camp Legacy Program. In case you missed it, the topic was “Reboot Your Legacy Program.” Here is a quick recap of the major ideas in that webinar so you don’t have to spend an hour watching the recording:
There are 4 key steps to Rebooting your Legacy program if it has gone dormant for a period of time:
Step 1: Re-establish Your Volunteer Committee. To do so, you’ll need to:
  1. Create (or update) a volunteer job description. We have a sample Legacy team member job description for you here
  2. Recruit new volunteers.  Look among your current Legacy members, Alumni or past camp staff, retirees, even young adults seeking to build work experience.
  3. Provide an orientation and training. Call upon your JCamp 180 mentor if you need help with training.
  4. Give them our Legacy workbook as a starting place. It is a really helpful way to see how to get started.
Step 2: Conduct an Inventory. To do so, you’ll need to:
  1. Look for the original paper Letters of Intent that your Legacy members signed and submitted. If you cannot locate them, contact our offices. We have electronic copies of your first 68 members that can help you get started.
  2. Check that all Legacy members are entered correctly into your donor data base. Don’t take this for granted. The only way you’ll be able to stay in touch with your Legacy members for the rest of their living lives (and their children and grandchildren) is if you use your database correctly. Look on our website for recommendations about how to track your Legacy members and pledges in your database.
  3. Unearth marketing materials that were already created. This might include a Legacy Society logo, a printed brochure (here is a sample legacy brochure so you have an idea what to look for) or information sheet that was used to communicate information about your Legacy Society, holiday cards sent to Legacy members, or printed lists of legacy members included in publications. Find out how Legacy members were stewarded and communicated with in the past – Newsletters? Phone calls? Events?
  4. Determine what was done in the past to thank, honor and recognize Legacy members. Many camps gave a high-quality gift to new Legacy members to thank them; some camps created a honor recognition wall; others posted names in print on in newsletters. Inventory what your camp did, and at what point it might have fallen out of practice. If you aren’t sure, ask your current Legacy members if they recall what was gifted to them in the past.
Step 3: Create a Realistic 2018 Action Plan for Rebooting Your Legacy Program. To do so, we recommend that you plan on having at least 4 simple contact points with each and every one of your members in the coming year, in the following categories – Care, Share, Invite and Honor.
  1. Care: Think of one way you will thank each member of your Legacy Society. Will it be a holiday card? A hand-written note? You should plan on a Legacy member specific “thank you” to all of your members every year.
  2. Share: Provide each and every member of your Legacy Society with an update from camp. Share news, information, proof of the impact you are having, and why you so appreciate their commitment to your Jewish camp. It is important to share information so that people stay connected to your mission over time.
  3. Invite: Invite your Legacy members to one event this year, specifically because they are a Legacy member. Keep it simple and do-able. You could invite them as a special guest to an event you are already planning, with a simple add-on, such as Lemonade with the Camp Director before the start of Visiting Day. Invite them to a mid-winter dinner at a board member’s home. Even if they cannot attend, the feeling of being invited and included to something exclusive based on membership is exciting. It is a reason to stay connected.
  4. Honor: Ensure that this year there is public recognition for your Legacy members, in print and/or verbally. Get in the habit again of posting the names of Legacy members in your newsletter. Engage the Camp Director in publically thanking Legacy members at any camp public gathering such as board meetings, Visiting Day, and even the start of Summer Staff Training. Many camps have a location on-site to list and honor Legacy members, and now is the time to double check that it is up-to-date; plan an event to add names if it needs updating.
Step 4: Re-establish Contact with Your Legacy Members. 
  1. Current Address: If it has been a number of years since you’ve been in touch, now is the time to reconnect. 1st step: be sure you have a current address for each Legacy member.
  2. Answer Questions: Many camps have reported that some members don’t remember signing a “Letter of Intent” or are confused about how they can follow-through on the commitment to remember camp with an after-life gift. Getting back in touch will allow you to continue to have meaningful conversations with members about their love of camp, and what being a Legacy member involves. Here is a sample letter from Beber Camp that they used to invite people to document their commitment and ask more questions.
  3. Fear not! Do not be afraid to reconnect with your Legacy members, or to restart your Legacy program. This recorded webinar: Reboot Your Legacy Program has interviews with two fantastic camps that worked on their previously dormant Legacy programs, how they did it, and what they learned along the way. We also talked about overcoming objections you may fear hearing when you get back in touch with your members, and ideas about what you might say. Our knowledge center also has many other great resources that you can use to get started again.
If you found this helpful, please stay tuned for future topics. In February we’ll cover the “Art of the Legacy Ask” to help you enroll new members, and in March we’ll cover the topic of “Turning ‘Letters of Intent’ into Solid Commitments.” Let us know if there are others topic you hope we’ll cover in future webinars.