Legacies are often a difficult form of fundraising to promote.
They touch on two of this country’s biggest tabboos, money and death, that as a nation we don’t like talking about, but really should.
The trick is to promote a vision. A vision of how every legacy helps sustain the charity’s future aspirations.
So many of the charities I meet would not survive without charitable gifts in wills. Their future depends on them. And in turn, so do we.
But articulating this vision is sometimes challenging.
Tonight I’m going to the private launch of our photography exhibition, Legacies through a Lens, at London’s Oxo Gallery.
The exhibition is the cornerstone of Remember A Charity Week and opens on London’s popular South Bank to the public tomorrow until Sunday (11am-6pm).
It showcases photographs taken by celebrities and up-and-coming photographer Ed Miller, capturing the difference that legacies can make to charities.
Alexandra Burke captures her recent trip to Haiti for Save The Children, Dame Judi Dench at The College of St Barnabas. Nell McAndrew’s grandfather also features, on behalf of new members Age UK.
All of the projects featured were only possible due to gifts in wills.
Others supporting the campaign include actor Timothy Spall (pictured) whose photographs capture his experiences on board RNLI vessel Porthdinllaen, while Virginia McKenna is shown with the Lion named ‘Girl’ for the Born Free Foundation.
Celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino also appears with a crowd of children in a vibrant photo taken while on a Save the Children trip to his native Peru.
Scottish Spina Bifida Association honorary patron Gordon Ramsay has also taken a photograph of 6 year old Beau Rendall, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, at a recent fun day organised by the charity.
The Association was left a legacy in 2005, helping them build a new family support centre and expand their support services to over 3000 people in Scotland.
Charities also took part at noon today in a digital shout on Facebook and Twitter, raising the campaign’s profile to supporters and showcasing the exhibition. Our TV ad, created by DDB and recently shortlisted for an IPA Award, quickly became one of the most shared non-profit videos on the internet.
Legacies a tough sell…? Not when we have stories like these to tell.
And finally.. A social marketing approach…
We can’t rely on publicity alone to create behaviour change.
A report last year revealed that 14% of solicitors never prompt their clients to include a charitable will.
That’s why Remember A Charity partnership manager, Kate Woode, ran a breakfast seminar morning with Bates Wells & Braithwaite and local solicitors to show how they can support their clients with their charitable last wishes. Only with the support of solicitors and will writers can we make sure the good work lives on….
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