Personal touch boosts legacies

A medical charity is attributing its 100 per cent increase in legacy income to its use of face-to-face fundraising techniques.

The Alzheimer's Society's projected legacy income grew 15 per cent year on year from £3.05m to £6.64m between 2001 and 2006, according to the 2006 Legacy Market Audit by charity research consortium Legacy Foresight.

The average growth for charities in the same period was 6.8 per cent. The society predicts its income will rise to more than £10m in the next five years.

It said an in-house team of face-to-face legacy fundraisers, who visit warm supporters in their homes to discuss how their gifts will be spent, was the key to its success.

"Once someone indicates an interest in legacies, all communications are handled by their local legacy fundraiser," explained Justine Cole, head of legacy fundraising at the society.

"Their job is to explain the work of the charity and how supporters can help."

The society plans to expand its legacy fundraising team later this year.

The Legacy Market Audit predicts income based on trends in legacies as well as wider economic data.

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