We need to get loud and proud in legacy fundraising

As Remember A Charity Week ends, Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, says legacy fundraising needs to get noisy

Rob Cope
Rob Cope

If every charity was a shop, where would they put legacy fundraising? Would they proudly display their legacy ask in their shop window? Probably not. Or how about on the gondola end shelf, next to the best offers of the week? Probably not there either.

Unfortunately, most charities tend to bury their legacy ask – tucked away, out of sight.

"One of the biggest challenges is that legacies are long term," confessed one director of a large charity. "Most fundraising directors are more concerned with the short to medium term."

I strongly believe that partnerships with solicitors, government and the media are all vital. But if we’re not loud and proud about legacies as organisations and as a sector, how can we expect others to be?

That’s why we launched an integrated campaign to promote legacy giving during Remember A Charity Week.

The Co-operative Legal Services also passed on, for the first time, a Remember A Charity leaflet to every customer who was in the process of writing their will.

We’re also encouraging thousands of high-street solicitors and will-writers to join the campaign and show their support. Oh, and we’ve also given them ‘take a moment’ chocolate as well, which they seem to like…

Growing the legacy market won’t happen overnight. But the latest legacy statistics show that the market is growing. In 2007, 5 per cent of deaths resulted in charitable bequests. By 2012, this had risen to 6 per cent according to the latest Smee & Ford data.

And if we work together to be even noisier about legacies, it can happen even sooner than many of us dared hope. 

Rob Cope will be speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s Legacy Conference on 19 September. 

This article appears on a page edited by the Institute of Fundraising and hosted by ThirdSector.co.uk

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