Fundraising News: Legacies on the rise for Campaign signatories

Legacy pledges are beginning to increase for charities signed up to the Legacy Promotion Campaign It is now kicking off its second phase, which focuses on getting solicitors to prompt clients into making charity gifts in their wills.

Director Theresa Dauncey said this phase of the campaign's work would move from awareness raising to getting people to make pledges in their wills. "By the end of this phase, we would like to encourage people to put charities in their will."

The campaign is focusing on solicitors as a major audience able to get some early wins, she said. "Solicitors are the face-to-face fundraisers in legacies. They are the only people at that point who can say something about charities when a will is being made.

"Because we are not allied to any charity, they are much more open to asking clients what kind of charity they would like to support."

Solicitors have themselves become keen legacy donors, Dauncey said, with some 40 per cent now including charities in their will, compared to a national average of 16 per cent.

Seven of the 127 charities that are members have recently reported pledges as a direct result of joining the campaign, including Brooke Animal Hospital and the International HIV-Aids Alliance.

However, nearly 30 per cent of the first group of members of the campaign, which is backed by the Institute of Fundraising, dropped out in the second year. Annual fees range from £1,287 for the smallest charities up to around £42,000 for the largest.

Hits at the campaign's website exceeded 8,000 in the first three months of 2004. Solicitors and members of the public can use the website to search for charities to include in their will.

The campaign has a £1m marketing budget, and has launched an awareness campaign in the national press under the strapline, 'Don't let the good work die', outlining the inheritance tax advantages of will giving. A direct mail campaign is targeting 150,000 households.

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