Promoting legacies

Legacies can be difficult to promote and even harder to monitor until the money actually comes in. However, the following tips should help you some of the way to increasing your Legacy income.

Top 10 Legacy Fundraising Tips

1. Research what similar organisations in your geographical area, or area of charitable activity, are doing to promote income from legacies.
2. Talk to your line manager, the Senior Management Team and your Trustees about the benefits of seeking income from legacies, and the potential value to the organisation.
3. Try to raise the subject with some of your volunteers or staff members and get their feelings about promoting legacies, and their own experiences of what other charities are doing. 
4. Think about including information in your fundraising materials about the value of legacies to your organisation, and if you have received a legacy in the past, use it as a case study to show how important it can be. 
5. Put together information for your website about legacies, recommending that people make a will, and suggesting that they leave a percentage of their estate, after their gifts to family and friends, so that the estate keeps in line with inflation. 
6. When talking to potential donors, speak in plain English and avoid dated or complex information. Rather than referring to a legacy or bequest, talk about leaving a footprint in the future and making a significant difference.
7. Remember that gifts ‘in lieu of flowers’ or ‘in memoriam’ of people are increasingly common – make sure that you suggest that your charity could benefit in this way. 
8. Approach local funeral directors and funeral homes/crematoria requesting that information about your work is made available. 
9. Ask your local solicitors to advise on who, within their legal practice, assists with writing wills and the probate of estates. Ask their advice on how to promote your cause to potential legators.
10. Refer to the Legacy section of the Code of Fundraising Practice for guidance on best practice or see  Remember A Charity for more information.