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Legacy Fundraising from scratch?

Updated: Nov 26

How to tap into Will power and unlock Legacy Fundraising potential


Legacy income in the UK is set to surpass £3.6 billion this year, nearly nudging £4 billion and accounting for a third of all charitable giving. A third...

Will power rocks.

But what if your cause has never had a legacy? Or there may have been a rumour of one back in the midst of time? Can you kick start a legacy fundraising promotion from scratch?


Yes you can.


Tip #1 - Tell people you gratefully accept gifts in Wills


You do. You may not have had any, but you would gratefully accept them if they came your way, wouldn't you? Simply talking about the possibility of legacy income (and we use legacies and gifts in Wills interchangeably, apologies for any confusion) allows people who care about your cause to consider this form of giving as an option. We've run many events and had seen that lightbulb moment when supporters say 'I didn't realise I could leave a gift in my Will to <<insert cause name>>'

Well, if you tell them, they will know now.

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Tip #2 - Get a Free Will writing service.


A gift in a Will is the ultimate inclusive ask, it costs nothing now (especially with a Free Will writing service and there are plenty to choose from). Having a mechanism in place makes a statement. It shows that you do accept gifts in Wills, and it's a helpful tool for service delivery/clinical/project officers to ease into fundraising. You are doing your supporters/volunteers and staff a favour, a Will writing service is a handy tool to complete a bit of dreaded life admin at the same time as highlighting charitable status and enabling everyone to make a fundraising ask, one that costs nothing now.


"We introduced a Legacy First approach by offering a free Will writing service and trained staff to talk about it and we received a pledge in a Will from a service user who was still on the waiting list for our support. The legacy literally came first." – Connor James - Age Cymru West Glamorgan

Tip #3 - Train your staff to feel confident


Legacy fundraising is not about death, it's actually the opposite. It's a way to guarantee values, hopes, beliefs and the bit that makes a person tick lives on, long after their hearts stop beating in this world. Leaving a legacy means that 'this is me' is immortalised and that's special. In fact, it is inspiring. Teach your staff to talk about gifts in Wills in a positive light and you will set souls on fire, in the best way. At Keepace we see this all the time as the penny drops and confidence is established.


Tip #4 - Legacy Fundraising messages, EVERYWHERE


When do we want legacy messages? Now! Where do we want them? Everywhere!

The truth is that many people don't act on a prompt straight away. This is especially the case for life admin that's a bit icky. So, we need to drip feed the need to make a Will and share the option of a charitable gift wherever there is a touchpoint with your stakeholders and by stakeholder we mean anyone who cares about your cause. Be bold, be simple, be clear.


Tip #5 - Legacy First works


You don't need to have nailed your strategy, you don't need to have segmented your potential audiences into internally meaningful pockets of potential pledgers. You don't need to worry about tax or percentages of an estate. Legalese is not your bag. You are not a solicitor or Will writer, you are not a financial planner. You can kick off your legacy fundraising right at the start of a supporter journey, before they've even passed a first donation post. It's okay to ask and it works.


If you lack confidence, we can help...We do this all the time.


Sometimes it helps to hear what other causes are doing across the sector. That's where Keepace can be helpful, because we know. We train internal teams to be confident around legacy conversations, we can recommend Will writing services and unlock your legacy fundraising potential. You can adopt a Legacy Fundraising First approach and it will work. We're happy to hear from you and schedule a call to explore how we can work with you.


Contact clare@keepaceconsults.com

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