With a passion for legacies and more than 20 years’ experience working for collaborative campaigns and in charity communications, Lucinda is director of the UK legacy consortium Remember A Charity. She leads a talented and committed team, working to achieve the campaign’s core mission of growing charitable gifts in Wills.
Remember A Charity is a consortium of almost 200 British charities that promote legacy giving and have worked towards making charitable gifts in wills the social norm for more than 20 years. Now in your second year of post, what are your priorities and hopes for the campaign’s future?
Charitable legacies are such a crucial income stream, particularly against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis. It can give charities resilience and the sector needs that now more than ever. So, in terms of our priorities, it’s simply a case of continuing to do what we do best; collaborating with our members and partners to help them build and grow legacy giving. We need to continue to find those touch points where we can create most impact and drive change in legacy giving behaviour. This means working creatively with a wide range of audiences – government, solicitors, Will-writers, legal partners and others – to extend our reach. And to deliver consumer campaigns that inspire people to take action, while also giving members the tools and platform to help them promote their own legacy message.
In terms of priorities, building and growing our professional advisor network is crucial. This year, we launched a new programme to engage the wealth management community and other professional advisers (beyond our existing network of solicitors and professional Will-writers). We’re still in the early stages, but the aim is to build on our learnings from working with the legal community, engaging more advisers as legacy and campaign ambassadors. So, it’s an exciting time for us and our members.
Sometimes smaller charities with limited capacity and budget find it hard to invest in legacy fundraising. How can it help them to join a joint campaign?
When it comes to smaller charities and those who are new to legacies, Remember A Charity is an easy win. It gives them a fantastic entry level approach to legacies, with customisable promotional assets and resources for their legacy campaign, and webinars addressing relevant topics and issues, showcasing legacy tips, success and inspiration. We feature members’ legacy stories on our website and promote them on our social channels, so this can really help to reach new audiences, and those with an interest in legacy giving.
What smaller members frequently tell us is that being part of the campaign gives them greater confidence. Not only are they part of this wider movement and working with the most established and experienced charities in the legacy field, but they gain a network of peers who they can reach out to and connect with.
For larger organisations, they certainly gain these opportunities to bolster their legacy message (internally and externally) and to exchange and learn from others within the membership community, but the main driver for joining Remember A Charity is typically more about our work to grow the market. They recognise that only by working together can we see legacy giving become the norm, helping to protect their market share. Still, there’s been a real demand among our larger members this year for our legacy assets, our new internal engagement resources and webinar, which is great to see.
Of course, members’ needs change over time, so it’s crucial that we continue to ask them how best we can support them, that we listen to what they say and adapt.
Across Europe, we are confronted with the crisis in rising living costs, which will influence charities’ incomes. Will this also affect how people think about their legacies and decide on gifts in wills?
The rapid rise in living costs is something we are all too aware of and it makes fundraising even more challenging across the board. But it also shines a light on how vital legacies are for charities in generating that longer-term income stream, which continues to drip through.
When it comes to legacy fundraising, we still need to inspire the public with our vision of a better world, but we also need to demonstrate the tangible impact that legacies can have and – as always – to approach supporters sensitively and thoughtfully, mindful of the economic backdrop. There’s something to be said too for the fact that there’s little upfront cost in this form of giving and that may well be worth weaving into some legacy messaging.
While the future is looking strong for legacies, we can’t be complacent. Challenging economic environments will undoubtedly influence legacy incomes which tend to track share and house prices. However, the UK prediction is that the level of gifts – which remain high due to the volume of estates and the propensity for giving – will continue to grow and sustain legacies. This makes it all the more important that we keep the focus on inspiring the public to give and expanding that donor market.
What do you think the future of legacy giving looks like?
Despite the doom and gloom of the economic environment, legacies are expected to buck the trend and become a vital lifeline to even more organisations across the world – and that’s hugely exciting. In the UK alone, the next thirty years will see around £5.5 trillion passed down from baby boomers to the next generation. This offers immense potential for legacy giving and makes it even more important that we continue to champion this message and to inspire the public with the concept of changing the world through a gift in their will.
Remember A Charity Week is always a highlight each September, but what are you doing the rest of the year to keep the legacy message burning bright?
That’s such a great question. Remember A Charity Week is an important part of our annual calendar and we’re already gearing up for that with our agency partners, but our work continues all year round and we’re not always vocal enough about that.
We promote our messaging on social channels in bursts all year round, sharing a combination of practical ‘How To’ videos together with emotive stories from members, helping them reach new audiences. We also encourage our members to use their customised campaign materials after the Week too, along with our WILL YOU video, which really helps to convey the collaborative spirit behind the campaign.
Behind the scenes, we’re developing our partnerships and Campaign Supporter network of 850+ solicitors and Will-writers. These charity-friendly legacy advocates can be such powerful ambassadors for the legacy message. So, we’re also doing some focused outreach with them to see how best we can build and grow that network. It’s exciting times for legacies and for our members.
And last but least, can you tell us something more about this year’s Remember A Charity Week?
This year’s Remember A Charity Week (11-17 September 2023) focuses on the distinctive characteristics that we remember about our loved ones. The ‘Be remembered for’ campaign celebrates those special stories, funny moments, and quirky hobbies, using humour to open up conversation and inspire people to leave their own gift.
We’re encouraging charities, professional advisers, campaign partners and others to come together for Remember A Charity Week and use this opportunity to shine a light on the importance of legacies for charities across the country.
In the current economic environment, with even more pressure on budgets, prioritising legacy fundraising and securing sufficient resource isn’t always easy. So, this year, we’re providing new resources for charities to use internally, as well as customisable legacy materials that help charities start their own legacy conversations with supporters – and to build on that momentum and dialogue throughout the year.
See more at www.rememberacharity.org.uk