This weekend I watched the world’s biggest half-marathon, the Bupa Great North Run.
As a keen runner who also ran the race last year for charity, I am always inspired by everyone who takes part.
But what really struck me this year was so many of the back stories of why people got involved.
The BBC interviewed some of those who were running in memorium for their loved ones, such as one woman whose mum had suffered with Alzheimers. Or those who were running to help raise vital funds for their local hospice.
But then I wondered how many of those same runners would consider leaving a gift in their will for that same charity. Not many, I would suspect.
Part of the problem is that charities rarely ask. Striking up a conversation with charity supporters about legacies is half the battle. If participants are prepared to run hundreds of miles in training for their favourite charity, the chances are – if asked in the right way – they’ll be willing to leave a gift in their will after looking after their loved ones.
That’s why we were delighted that the world’s biggest half marathon helped us mark the end of Remember A Charity Week.
Great North Run race organisers kindly allowed charities including the NSPCC, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, RNIB, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Arthritis Research UK to gather at the finish line to mark the week.
Charities in the charity village also gave supporters a Remember A Charity Week cups of tea to help kick-start a legacy conversation.
It was fantastic to see so many runners chatting about another way they might consider supporting their favourite cause.
It has also been fantastic to get so much positive feedback about the week, including one member of the public who called our office last week. She saw a Remember A Charity article in a Barclays will writing pack. And then she saw our TV advert. It was enough, she admitted, to finally change her will to include her favourite charity.
Over the finish line….? With just 7% currently leaving a charitable gift in their will, the race has only just begun…
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