Remember A Charity’s new strategy: Three key steps for growing legacy giving

Remember A Charity’s new strategy: Three key steps for growing legacy giving

Rob Cope | 1 May 2019

Last month Remember A Charity launched its new strategic plan which sets out how it intends to grow legacy giving over the next three years. Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, explains the challenges that lie ahead and what the campaign will be focusing on.

Figures released last month show that the legacy market continues to grow – testament to the collaborative work undertaken by the sector and the generosity of the British public.

The UK Legacy Fundraising Market 2019 report showed that 15.8% of wills that went to probate included a charitable gift in 2017, which has grown from 12.2% in 2007.

Although these changes might not sound like big numbers, each percentage point growth is hugely significant – generating millions of additional income for good causes every year.

However, while the market itself continues to grow, so too is the number of charities promoting and benefiting from legacies for the first time as more and more charities want a share of the action.

Since 2012, more than 26,000 charities have been named in wills. In 2017 we saw as many as 3,000 charities named for the first time.

But what does this increase actually mean? Growing pressure on each charity’s market share – and a greater need than ever before to continue to grow the market.

Here at Remember A Charity, we have recently launched our new strategic plan for the next three years, focusing on our three key strategic priorities to continue to grow the legacy market – and, in turn, charity income.

1. Normalising charitable Will-writing at key life stages

There has been a steady shift in the public’s attitudes to legacy giving, with long-term trends revealing a steady increase in those who claim to be aware of legacy giving. While those who claim to be unaware of this form of charitable giving has fallen from 17% in 2009 to 10% in 2018 (nfpSynergy, 2018).

On top of this, our latest survey revealed that 40% of the UK would be happy to leave a small amount to their favourite charities – once they’ve taken care of family and friends.

What this means is that our challenge now is to convert this awareness into action. As part of this strategy, Remember A Charity will aim to reach those aged over 55 who are in the socioeconomic group ABC1 (the wealthiest demographics) who are pension and retirement planning – informing and inspiring them with relevant, timely and trustworthy content on leaving a charitable gift.

2. Ensuring professional advisors consistently mention the charitable option

It is promising that our research shows the numbers of advisors who never spontaneously mention charitable giving has more than halved since 2011, falling from 22% to 10% (Future Thinking, 2018).

But we’ve found that there remains an inconsistent approach in the legal sector to charitable giving, with too many advisors not regularly mentioning the option to their clients.

In order to address this issue on behalf of the sector, we want to continue to grow our (currently 1,300 strong) Campaign Supporter network of advisors who pledge to always mention charitable giving as an option.

We believe this is really key to growing the legacy market, as we know from our work with the Behavioural Insights Team that advisors who mention charitable giving are as much as three times more likely to draft a will that includes a charitable gift.

In doing this we plan to continue our close collaboration with key legal sector bodies such as The Law Society, STEP and IPW who are key to helping us achieve consistency in this area.

3. Developing strategic partnerships to help drive behaviour change

We have found our previous strategic partnerships, including those with the Co-operative Legal Services and the Behavioural Insights Team, really helpful in finding new ways of driving behaviour change.

So this year we will be undertaking research to identify new potential partners to reach our core audiences and deliver change.

During the next two years of our strategic plan we will cultivate and develop these partners and focus on the types of activities that no single charity could achieve on its own.

Over the next three years, we will also step up our efforts to ensure that we fully represent the charity sector, ensuring that we have a diverse and inclusive membership made up of representatives from different causes, including areas such as arts & culture, hospices, and more local, smaller charities.

Since our last strategic timeframe four years ago Remember A Charity has grown from 140 charities to more than 200, and we hope for this growth to continue.

Our strategic aims are crucial to the entire sector if we are to continue to grow the legacy market. We want to thank everyone who has helped make this happen so far.

Interested in joining Remember A Charity? Find out more about membership here.

Rob Cope MInstF (Dip) is Director of Development and of Remember A Charity



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