5 reasons you should be shouting about legacies this Remember A Charity Week
Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, explains why your organisation should get involved with the tenth Remember A Charity in Your Will Week this September.
More and more UK charities are turning to legacies as they recognise the need for funding solutions that will secure income for the years ahead. Once seen as an income channel primarily for larger organisations, more and more smaller charities have invested in legacy fundraising in recent years. According to Smee and Ford, more than 26,000 charity beneficiaries have been named in Wills since 2012, with 3,000 of those included for the first time in 2017.
The tenth Remember A Charity in Your Will Week is swiftly approaching (9-15 September), and this year’s campaign is all about enabling conversation around legacy giving and addressing any misconceptions. This year we’re shifting the focus of our public messaging from raising awareness about gifts in Wills to building understanding and inspiring supporters into taking action; writing a gift into their Will.
There is no better time than Remember A Charity in Your Will Week to encourage supporters to leave a gift to your cause in their Will. But that is not the only reason to join the campaign, take a look at our top five reasons for joining Remember A Charity:
1. Ask your supporters to “Pass on something wonderful” this September
Of course the big reason to join us right now is our annual awareness week which provides a perfect opportunity for members to promote legacies both internally and externally.
Our theme this year is “Pass on something wonderful” and Remember A Charity has teamed up with comedian Matt Berry to create a series of comedy films with a 1970’s twist, that bust some of the biggest myths associated with gifts in Wills, showing how it’s something everyone can do.
By joining the campaign you will also receive free campaign materials including campaign films, social media assets and a content calendar, as well as digital assets, poster templates, PR templates and printed bookmarks.
Michael Clark from Cystic Fibrosis Trust shared some of his organisation's success from last year: “Remember A Charity in your Will Week was an amazing opportunity to get national coverage of the importance of remembering the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, helping us to generate 212 new enquiries, four new pledges and counting.”
2. Partnerships with government
We at Remember A Charity have strong links with government, and are often speaking on behalf of its members to influence legacy giving policy and making sure their voices are heard.
Recently we continued to be an active member of the HM Courts & Tribunal Services Steering Group advising on the impacts of the proposed new legacy notification service.
In addition, we have been leading the sector campaign with government to secure fiscal incentives that will encourage legacy giving. We were delighted that the Office of Tax Simplification recently backed our recommendation to retain the current inheritance tax (IHT) rate relief. You can read about three of our key updates from last month here.
Jane Smith, CEO of Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC), told us how these links with government are one of the main benefits of being part of the campaign. "Remember A Charity is invaluable: it is a professional campaign with government backing and national reach, giving us resources to help with campaign creation. It also gives us the opportunity to discuss legacies both with supporters and more widely, and we would not have felt able to target supporters without having it behind us," she said.
3. Helping you reach a wider audience
As a member of Remember A Charity you can reach a larger audience of potential legacy pledgers than you might through your existing channels.
Our website receives thousands of visitors each year, all searching for information on Will writing and leaving gifts to charity, and every member has a dedicated page. We also actively promote members’ stories on our website and social channels, which results in high levels of engagement from the Will-writing public.
Our previous campaigns have been featured on TV shows such as Lorraine, and last year’s new focus on paid-social saw a huge uplift in online reach, with over 2.3 million of our target audience seeing the campaign on Facebook.
4. Opportunities for networking and sharing best practice
We hold four members’ forums each year which are free to attend and we encourage members to come along with their colleagues and Trustees. Forums provide members with networking opportunities to connect with like-minded fundraisers.
Being a member of Remember A Charity is also another excuse to shout loud about legacies!
By working together, we can continue to open new doors. This is the only way we can achieve the type of large scale behaviour change that will grow the charitable legacy market and in turn your own charity’s legacy income.
5. Participate in PR opportunities
Our members are given the opportunity to participate in national and regional PR activities. They can also promote their stories in our annual legacy supplements that appear in print editions of The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman.
And we are have our own share of celebrity endorsement – this year members were given the opportunity to attend a photo call with Len Goodman who is the media spokesperson for this year’s Remember A Charity in Your Will Week.
Matt Smith, Legacy Manager at London’s Air Ambulance, recently told us that: “Being part of Remember A Charity is a vital part of our legacy strategy. Having access to the wide range of toolkits provided, the profile raising opportunities, as well as participating in their innovative campaigns is invaluable to us.”
One for the budget-holders...
And not only all of that, here is one to help persuade your budget-holders. New members get a discount when they join (either 15 months for the price of 12, or 20% off your first year of membership – find out more here), as well as get to take advantage of a discounted Will-writing offer with Co-op (up to 20% discount on standard single and mirror Wills – find out more here).
It’s not too late to join up as a Remember A Charity member. We often have charities joining up even a couple of days before Remember A Charity Week who still get a lot out of it and can use it as a pilot for the following year.
Rob Cope is Director of Remember A Charity and Director of Development at the Institute of Fundraising.