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Remember A Charity Week launches

Remember A Charity Week launches

Today marked the start of Week. And what a start it was…

Action for Children ambassador Jenny Agutter and Born Free’s Virginia McKenna (pictured) did a fantastic job since the early hours of this morning, promoting the campaign in the media across the UK.

More than 100 charities including Macmillan, MS Trust and Guide Dogs also launched the week on their websites and social media, driving traffic to their legacy pages.

The presence of Remember A Charity Week was also felt on the high street as hundreds of charity shops including Arthritis Research UK and Save the Children showed their support through their window displays and giving away branded tea bags with each transaction to encourage people to contemplate leaving a gift to charity in their wills.

But why do we need an awareness week for charitable gift in wills? And what does it hope to achieve?

It’s been ten years since charities started working together to grow the legacy market and income through the Remember A Charity campaign. Since then the consortium has grown from 16 founder members to more than 140 charities, all working together to make leaving gifts in wills a social norm.

are the second biggest source of fundraised income for UK charities, yet only 7% of the population leave a gift in their will in any given year.

In fact, the UK legacy market is currently worth more than 25 times the amount Comic Relief raises each year. Just a 4% change in behaviour would raise a further £1 billion for good causes.

These statistics have fuelled a campaign, challenged with creating mass behaviour change on a modest budget. But without collaboration it just wouldn’t be possible.

What makes this week so exciting is the potential of the impact we can make, all striking up a conversation about legacy giving at the same time, championing internally to staff and externally to the general public.

Since last year’s first legacy awareness week, the public’s perceptions of charitable legacies have slowly changed.

A drip-feed campaign since last year’s first awareness week has generated some significant changes.

60% of the public who had seen our TV advert said ‘it made me think it was possible to leave a legacy as well as provide for family and friends’, which was up from 51% since last October.

34% now think that legacies need to be larger than they can afford, down from 39%.

What’s fantastic about this week is that suddenly we have an excuse to strike up a legacy conversation with charity staff and supporters, building on the drip-feed campaign throughout the year.

Theodora Children’s Trust kick-started the week yesterday at their Herefordshire 5k fun run, encouraging more of their supporters to consider a different way of giving.

The race to win hearts and minds about leaving a remembering a charity in their will is firmly underway…

Rob Cope is Director of Remember A Charity.

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