Five pointers for legacy giving

Promoting legacy giving can be tricky – Better Story gives 5 pointers.
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We all know that charities can get a huge funding boost from gifts left in people’s Wills. (Half of the gifts left to charities last year were over £100,000). But legacy giving can sometimes feel like a tricky thing to promote. It’s a big subject, but here are five quick pointers from our team:

The tax factor.

Anybody seeking professional advice about their Will is likely to find out that they can reduce inheritance tax by leaving a gift to a charity. People motivated by this will be looking around for the right charity to include.

Your charity needs to be ready to show them that you are ready to receive legacies, value them and will put them to good use.

But what about the rest of your supporters?

Normalise it.

We know that people tend to do things that are perceived as “normal” and done by other “people like me”. But most people aren’t even aware of legacy giving. So mention it from time to time in your regular communications, without an ask.

For instance, in your regular news updates, you could mention that: “this project was able to get off the ground thanks to a gift left in somebody’s Will.” (Ask the family if you could even name them…)

It’s personal.

Talk to your donors. Some interesting research from Remember a Charity found that if you spend just 45 minutes talking to a donor, they will actively consider leaving you a gift in their Will.

Leaving something in your Will feels like a very personal and significant act. If you feel that the charity actually knows who you are and values you and your involvement, you’ll be much more likely to take the time to specifically remember them in your Will.

It’s about passion.

When you do come to ask, the research I mentioned above also found that when solicitors asked a question like: ‘Many of our customers choose to leave a gift to charity in their Will, are there any causes you are passionate about?’ this was much more inspiring than a straight ask. More people asked this way left a charity gift in their Wills, and they left twice as much!

Aside from the “normalising” effect, this question makes you reflect on your life, what you stand for, what you want to invest in and be remembered for.

Be specific.

Why do you need your supporter to leave a gift in their Will? What will it actually achieve? Why can’t you do without it? Your message needs to be personal, tangible, connect with their passion for the charity and be satisfying emotionally. 

Better Story

Better Story is a digital impact company that specialise in helping charities tell their stories better, so they connect with their audience and gain more support. Offering anything from a single campaign to complete communications support, their team has over 40 years’ combined experience in the field and raised around £500,000 for charity clients last year.

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