Making the most of Light up a Life

Light up a Life is a celebration; a chance for those who’ve lost someone to take time to remember, together. For many hospice supporters, it’s the most important day of the year – a chance to celebrate, grieve and then begin to look forward to the holidays.

It’s also a huge opportunity for hospices; a chance to appreciate supporters, potentially making them life-long friends. Here are our tips for making the most of your campaign (from our umpteen years of working with hospices!).

How do you ‘Light up a Life’?

With Light up a Life (or your own perfectly wonderful differently named campaign!), consider how people can get involved without physically being there. Given the event is normally held in November or December and given we live in the UK, we can rely on the weather being drizzly and dark – so for some people, standing around in the cold and wet just isn’t an option. Similarly, events held at the hospice itself might be difficult – particularly if it’s the place where their loved one was cared for.

So to include everyone in the celebration, we encourage donors to contribute names of those they’re remembering – and then do something ‘special’ with these names. We’ve seen Orders of Service, placards, newspaper pull-outs, Christmas ornaments – you name it, we can put a name on it! Often, these names play a role in the actual event, and many hospices make these displays available throughout the Christmas period. And, online options are now increasingly achievable within a LUAL budget. Making remembrances public and accessible is crucial, because they enable donors to interact with the hospice, even if they don’t attend the event.

All things bright and beautiful

The visual representation of Light up a Life is important too. We’ve seen many a night sky or other dark background in Light up a Life materials, with a candle or light shining out. We get the intention, but this kind of imagery can create an overly mournful tone. It’s hard to show ‘light’ without dark – but we’ve developed a number of images over the years that are as bright and positive as the events, while still allowing lights to shine. Photos of the event (tricky to get right in the dark, but brilliant if done the right way) are invaluable for future years.

Pence matters

When it comes to the all-important ask, we want to avoid minimum donations. Sometimes ticketed events are necessary when space is tight – but having to purchase a ticket to take part may preclude a larger gift on the day; after all, if you’ve already shelled out to attend, would you feel the need to give once again?

We shouldn’t shy away from the truth that hospice care costs money – and donors are a big part of making a hospice work. So, let’s talk about it, loudly and proudly, during this special time in the calendar. If we can show donors exactly how their money will be used, bringing the very same care that LUAL is celebrating (and, if that cost isn’t a round number – even better) we’ll see a better response. We’ve been surprised about just how many people will give a gift that reflects the actual cost we’ve told them about – down to the penny. So if you want to try a little experiment this year, ditch the standard amount and ask people to directly cover the costs of actual care.

A little reminder…

For the very best supporters, it’s worth just giving a further nudge. Once we’ve sent out our gorgeous, bespoke, bright campaign, we love to send the most connected donors a little reminder, just in case they missed us the first time around. And, it’s very important to remember our online audiences – sending invites and the fundraising appeal via email, Facebook, on Twitter. Everyone should be able to get involved, wherever they are!

We’re here to help!

We’ve created a lot of Light up a Life campaigns and, when we put all our learning together to deliver a strong, passionate appeal, the results follow. We’ve been able to double or even triple a hospice’s best ever income total!

We’re already working on Light up a Life appeals for this year – and we’d love to have a chat with you about yours. But, time is moving on fast and we only have a finite number of slots available (and they’re filling up fast!).

So, drop us a line today and let’s talk about how we can deliver an outstanding LUAL appeal for you!