The brainchild of George Smith has been many years in the making, and last week saw the launch of Remember A Charity, the campaign to increase the number of wills that contain a donation to charity. A programme of advertising, direct mail and PR is now underway.
The number of members has already exceeded all expectations with current charity membership standing at 86, which makes it the biggest charity consortium ever in the UK. Members come from across the whole spectrum of the charity sector. Some receive the majority of their income from legacies while some receive none at all. For the first time, charities are working together for the benefit of the entire voluntary sector and it could signal a sea change in the way we work together. I find it very encouraging to see so many charities willing to share information and expertise to improve knowledge, professionalism and income from this area.
The campaign could not have developed without the support of members, including staff and donors, but the success of Remember A Charity is also dependent on support from the legal and financial sectors. At the time of the launch we have over 100 campaign supporters ranging from professional bodies such as STEP and AIFA to leading law firms such as Withers. Campaign supporters will be helping to increase charity income by advising clients about charitable giving during the will-making process.
But this is just the beginning. While the benefits of the campaign won't be realised for some time, we hope that this positive start is indicative of things to come and that this new collaborative approach will encourage more of the giving public to leave the world a better place.