I have the considerable honour to be involved in two mould-breaking, cross-sector initiatives. They are the Legacy Promotion Campaign and The Giving Campaign and they break the mould in as much as they set new levels of joint working by charities.
Since the recent launch of the Legacy Promotion Campaign, there has been a series of well-placed prominent ads encouraging people to leave money via their will. In general, the campaign aims to increase the number of people who leave money to a charity in their will by 2 per cent. This will add £180 million a year to the kitty. That is the equivalent to a "Live Aid" each and every year. (That last sentence is worth re-reading).
Research also shows that 70 per cent of people say they give to charity, yet only 4 per cent leave a legacy. This campaign has received huge support from the large number of charities which are funding it and represents a real opportunity for others to develop a legacy programme. My former employer, Raleigh International, recently received its first legacy. I wonder if it has a legacy strategy yet?
The Giving Campaign is wider in its objectives with four clear areas of focus. First is to encourage wealthy people to give more, more proactively, in a more committed and less ad hoc way. Second is to promote tax-efficient giving. Third is to increase the number of employees participating in giving. And last, but by no means least, is to increase the participation of young people in giving. This last challenge is exactly that and I was deeply sceptical about how much could or would be achieved.
The work that a central organisation such as The Giving Campaign, talking on behalf of all, has allowed there to be much greater engagement than any individual charity could achieve. The introduction of high-quality teaching materials for the Citizenship key stage 2 and 3 syllabus as part of the National Curriculum is a major achievement.
Sometimes we need to rely on our instinct and although it is impossible to measure the impact of this work, I accept that it has to be good news for the voluntary sector.