Gifts in wills are now worth more than £2.8bn a year to UK charities. Known as Legacy Giving, it’s one of the most valuable forms of charitable giving, so if your organisation is looking for a long-term sustainable source of income it should part of your fundraising strategy.
To encourage more people to leave charitable gifts in their Wills, charities are making legacy giving a normal part of their everyday conversation with volunteers and supporters. Many charity websites now have a ‘Leave a gift in your Will’ page.
To get started, think about what you are trying to achieve as an organisation. A gift from a Will could support your cause into the future, so plan ahead and communicate your legacy message simply and clearly – in one sentence if possible.
Your message needs to be targeted carefully at the groups of people that are most likely to want to leave a gift to your cause so consider your audience. Research from Remember a Charity shows that if you spend just 45 minutes talking to a donor, they will actively think about leaving you a gift in their Will. Integrate your legacy message right across your organisation and make sure your trustees, staff and volunteers can have a simple legacy conversation if the opportunity arises.
The biggest problem with legacy fundraising is that making a Will is something the public avoid mainly due to apathy – two thirds of the adult population aged between 35 and 54 do not have a Will. As with all donations – make it simple for your website visitors to find the information – tell them the impact a gift would have on your beneficiaries, how to make or amend a Will and how to include your organisation in the Will. Have a look at the British Heart Foundation website for content and structure ideas.
Finally, to raise more money from legacies – treat your supporters well. The warmer your supporters feel about your organisation and the longer their relationship with you, the more likely they are to consider leaving you a gift in their Will.
For those who’d like to learn more, we’re running a half day Introduction to Legacy Fundraising workshop on 6th June 2019, complete the registration form here.