Creating a transformational legacy programme

Leaving a legacy is so much more than making a gift – it is an everlasting reminder of your commitment to a cause which is close to your heart. So close, that you chose to make what will be your final gift to the organisation.

A recent survey commissioned by the charity consortium Remember A charity found that 17% of respondents had included gifts to charity in their wills, up from 14% in 2013. But the potential for legacy giving is even bigger. Research suggests that by increasing charity wills nationally by just 1%, a further £70 million in legacies could be generated each year.

It seems obvious then, that charities and not-for-profits should invest time and energy in the development of robust, thoughtful and engaging legacy programmes. Unfortunately, whether due to the fear of discussing the ‘taboo’ subject of death, or focus being directed on other funding streams, too many organisations install poorly delivered, uninspiring legacy programmes, if indeed, they have one at all.

Those charities who are reaping the rewards of legacy gifts have no doubt invested time and energy in the creation their programme. Successful campaigns are those which look to the future and focus on the transformational impact your gift will make instead of mourning the past and the glum nature of death.

Here are our top 5 tips to creating a transformational legacy programme:

  1. It’s all in the planning - don’t rush in. Just because its national Free Wills Month it doesn’t mean you should launch your campaign now.
  2. Appropriate literature – think to the future. Readers should feel inspired to make a special gift that will have a wonderful impact on your organisation.
  3. Recruit a partner solicitor(s) – free wills are a great way to encourage givers to make the commitment now, and also give your programme added validity.
  4. Talk to potential givers – openly discussing their gift and the area of your work it might be directed to will give the donor the confidence that their gift will be used as they desired.
  5. Continued stewardship – gifts will usually not materialise immediately after their pledging! Good donor stewardship is the key to ensuring your legacy pledges come to fruition in due course.

If you are considering launching a legacy programme and need some advice, contact one of our Directors for an informal conversation.

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