On the reception desk of our office we have two leaflet displays – one is filled with handbooks on legacies and the other is for The National newsletter featuring among other things all our fundraisers’ latest activities. This feels like a very simple yet succinct way of depicting our supporters – the Givers and the Do-ers – both of which we value in equal amounts.
We’re often profiling the Do-ers: those that climb mountains, run marathons, hold quizzes and parties, and do all manner of brilliant things. Sometimes it’s good to remember the other side of our charitable givers, those that have left money to us in their wills, a sum which can make up half our income each year.
Legacy fundraising is an important source of income for much of the third sector: almost £2 billion a year is left to charities through legacy giving and for many charities like us, it’s these gifts that allow us to get projects up and running. Many people feel that they are giving something back, leaving – quite literally – a future legacy to a cause that has meant something in their lives. You might think it’s the rich and famous that leave money to charity but our donations come from people of all walks of life, and a recent study revealed that 13% of the population write legacies into their wills.
We often think about how we as a charity can raise awareness about such a sensitive issue; we don’t write directly to supporters, we’d much rather print leaflets for people to read in their own time, place adverts in appropriate publications, feature an information box in our newsletter or write explanatory blogs, like this one. It can be a difficult subject to talk about but we need to – because it really is so important.
If you’d like more information please take a look at our Will Pack or feel free to give us a call.
9 – 15 September is ‘Remember a Charity In Your Will Week’ – a time for those in the process of writing or amending their Will to take a moment to stop and think about leaving the gift of a lifetime to their favourite charity.