In the build up to this year’s Remember A Charity in your Will Week (7th-13th September 2015), charities are being urged to join the UK’s national legacy consortium “to accelerate the growth of the legacy marketplace and normalise legacy giving”.
Remember A Charity has more than 150 members currently but aims to attract more to help promote legacy giving further. Its high profile campaigns promoting charitable Wills have exhibited a striking and often humorous theme in recent years. In 2013, the Café de Mort campaign saw Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace host a televised dinner of potentially lethal foods in an old church crypt and in 2011, stuntman Rocky Taylor fronted Remember A Charity Week, breaking a Guinness World Record in the process.
UK Fundraising spoke to Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, about this year’s plans for the week.
What have you got planned for Remember A Charity in your Will Week?
This year’s campaign is expected to be our biggest yet, building on the success of the 2014 ‘Living Legends’ theme, it calls on people to do something ‘legendary’ by leaving a gift to charity in their Will.
The finer details are under wraps of course until the week itself (7th-13th September 2015), but we will be running a high-profile consumer advertising and PR campaign, aimed primarily at the over 60s. Working with more charities, campaign supporters and stakeholders than ever before, we will be communicating across a range of media channels to get our message across.
Many charities will take this opportunity to put their own identity on things, promoting their own legends, with local events planned up and down the country.
What are you aiming to achieve?
The goal for the week is far more than raising awareness; it’s about achieving social change. More charities and campaign supporters making more noise about legacies, more professional advisers prompting their clients to include a charity in their Will and, in the long term, more people doing so. In a market where legacies generate more than £2 billion a year from just 7.3% of the population, even a small percentage change in behaviour could make an enormous impact.
We continue our work throughout the year, but the awareness week is the sector’s biggest opportunity to act together, cohesively to bridge that gap.
Why don’t more people leave money to charity in their Wills?
There is certainly a big gap between the number of people that support charity regularly and those that remember a charity in their Will. For many people, it just doesn’t cross their mind and we are working to change that.
Legacies can be a sensitive topic for many organisations or individuals and Remember A Charity Week is a focal point to help overcome that and get the
conversation started. For some, this means using the campaign as a springboard to broach the subject with supporters, for others it gives charity trustees and senior management the impetus to champion legacies themselves or for solicitors to introduce a charitable prompt when writing Wills.
If a charity can get all its staff involved, equipped and empowered to talk about legacies, to become legacy champions – even if its just for that one point of the year – it can make a huge difference to their legacy drive.
How do you go about it?
While we may be best known for our consumer advertising programme, much of our work takes place behind the scenes; working with charities and campaign supporters, including Government, businesses and the legal community.
We give members the resources to embrace the theme and make it their own, championing legacies throughout the organisation and tailoring the message for their donors.
Our work with solicitors and the legal advisors is vital too as by prompting clients to think about charities when writing a Will, they can potentially treble the number of gifts in Wills. After last year’s Remember A Charity Week, the number of professional advisers promoting charitable Wills to clients increased to 65% and we are hoping to boost those numbers further.
Why should more charities get involved?
Only by working together can we succeed in making legacy giving a social norm. We set out to do what no single charity can do on its own; to grow the legacy marketplace and this is becoming more and more important.
The market has become increasingly competitive with traditional charities, as well as arts, heritage and hospital charities becoming very active in the field. Legacies are highly prized and rightly so; they are the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector. The only answer is to expand the donor market. We know there is huge potential and that this can be achieved, but the only way to achieve this is by working together both within the charity sector and beyond.
How can charities get involved?
All legacy charities are encouraged to get on board by joining Remember A Charity. We’ve now introduced new tiers to ensure that membership is even more accessible to smaller charities and we are here to support all those charities in achieving their full legacy potential.
All the indicators show that it is working – awareness and prompting is up – our work is making a real difference, but we have a lot further to go. The more charities that come on board and get involved, the quicker we can get there.
“Remember A Charity Week helped us to create a lot of noise using the Living Legends theme. We delivered a digital campaign that blew away the success of our normal legacy activity on social media… From four Facebook posts, we organically reached 370,000 people and received 1,600 likes, and our legacy video had 7,500 views on YouTube.”
“In 2014, Remember A Charity in your Will Week allowed us to focus on the importance of gifts in wills for the Trust’s ambitious future goals, and our campaign led to 212 new legacy enquiries.”
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