Green­peace Cana­da: Coro­n­avirus lega­cy campaign

Exhibited by
Tristan Woodford
October 07, 2021
Medium of Communication
Email, newsletter, blog
Target Audience
Legacy giving prospects
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
July 27, 2020

SOFII’s view

Realising that legacy donations were increasingly on supporters’ minds in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Greenpeace Canada went into action quickly to show donors they understood their concerns and shared them. Donor engagement manager Tristan Woodford wrote an impassioned article that was promptly shared with donors via e-mail and Greenpeace Canada’s printed magazines, in both French and English. This showed the charity to be proactive and in tune with donors’ thoughts. Though the results have yet to be fully tallied, this approach shows how a donor-centred attitude can be a force for good in the toughest of times.

Summary / objectives

Greenpeace Canada wanted to create a conversation about legacy giving while addressing the concerns of our supporters during the first summer of the coronavirus pandemic.


In the summer of 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns and uncertainty gripped the world, many of our conversations with supporters had a few common themes: that they were worried and at times afraid of losing a loved one or becoming sick themselves, that they were reflecting on their lives and mortality in a more urgent way than they normally had, and that they generally had more time to sit down and write/think about their will due to lockdowns and restrictions. 

That summer, Tristan Woodford, our donor engagement manager returned from parental leave. During conversations with Jackie Gallagher, our head of donor engagement, Tristan reflected on her own experience through the beginning of coronavirus with young children, her worries and concerns about the risks that coronavirus posed, and what kind of future she wanted for her children. Jackie also has young children and shared Tristan’s sentiment. She encouraged Tristan to write a blog to share with our supporters the belief that many would be feeling the same way. You can read Tristan’s blog here.

About one in three Greenpeace Canada campaigns are now funded by the generous gifts left by supporters in their wills, and this felt like a good opportunity to share that our supporters could do something practical and important while living through the pandemic – by leaving a gift in their will.

Creator / originator

Greenpeace Canada - Jackie Gallagher and Tristan Woodford

Special characteristics

This communication was based on very real, shared experiences and concerns so many of us have had throughout the pandemic thus far. It was aimed at connecting with our supporters and giving them a tangible way to ease some of their worries about the future for their families and the next generation if they were to become ill with coronavirus, and to really reflect on their values at a time we were all forced to take an unwanted pause. 

  • The campaign was topical, reflected the moods, concerns and worries of the day.
  • And the subject matter was very personal (including a photo of Tristan’s family).


  • We acted quickly to identify and address concerns our supporters likely shared with us, and provided them with a reason for hope, practical, concrete steps they could take now to carry their values into the future.
  • The story was shared in English and French in various mediums: blog, email, printed supporter magazines.
  • We received a good number of positive responses from supporters sharing how much they could relate to the blog and how much they enjoyed reading Tristan’s story.


English email: sent to 7,386 people, 31 per cent open rate, 1.35 per cent click rate to blog

French email: sent to 7,736 people, 26.5 per cent open rate, 1.31 per cent click rate to blog

Greenpeace don’t have all the numbers for this campaign due to a changeover in some systems but hope to share them at a later date.