gift in a will

Annotation 2020-09-06 121355

Remember a Charity Week 2020

60% of adults in the UK don’t have a will and although they ‘would be happy to’ leave gifts to charity, only about 6 per cent actually do so. This is a huge opportunity for local charities to explain what the work they do and inspire people to leave them a gift for a community cause they care about.

Writing about legacies on and offline can be daunting. Knowing what to say, getting the tone right and knowing where to put the messages on your website or in your literature is challenging. This is where Google is your friend! Look online at how the big charities tackle legacy fundraising – legacy visions, language used, stories, how legacies are spent, information on will writing and the downloads they offer to supporters.

However, the most important consideration is making sure everyone in your organisation (staff, trustees and volunteers) know about your legacy giving program and are confident to talk about making legacy gifts as a way to support you. Presentations (internal and external) should include a slide about how you would spend a gift from a will. Repeat the message little and often by telling stories to help normalise the idea of legacies as a way to support your organisation. The more people who are confident talking about legacies and including them in their wider work, the greater reach you can achieve with your message. If your volunteers/staff find the subject uncomfortable, make sure they know who in your organisation they can refer enquiries to, so that the opportunity is not lost.

Finally, know the law. Approach a local solicitor to talk through the legalities of accepting legacies and put together the information a potential legacy donor and their will writer might need. Helpful information is likely to include your official name, address and registered charity number.

Being a small organisation shouldn’t stop you adding legacy to your fundraising strategy and seeking funds through gifts in wills from your supporters.

Before getting started I strongly recommend you read:

Institute of Fundraising https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/fundraising-with-individuals/legacies/#introduction

Code of Fundraising Practice https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code/specific-fundraising-methods/legacies

Charity Commission https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wills-and-charitable-legacies

Remember a Charity https://www.rememberacharity.org.uk/making-a-will/

legacy wish

Legacy Fundraising – why we should all be doing it!

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.

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