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Legacy consideration rises 10% in a year but not all charities keeping up with changing market

Legacy consideration rises 10% in a year but not all charities keeping up with changing market

Legacy consideration rose 10% in the past year, while people are also increasingly happy to write their Will online, and residuary giving is becoming more acceptable, according to the latest legacy from fastmap and Freestyle Marketing.

Legacy Fundraising: The Only Constant is Change! shows a changing market with charities of all sizes seeing and seizing the opportunity. However, with increasing competition for gifts, others risk losing out if they are unable to meet the challenge of growing their own market share.

Freestyle Marketing and fastmap interviewed over 15,000 people aged 50+ online about legacy giving, and another 5,000 people for their views on 100 different charities. This year’s legacy supporter interviews were more than double the length of those conducted previously, and have allowed many of the themes explored in 2018/19 to be extended and tracked, while new areas such as legacy TV adverts and the supporter journey have also been introduced.

The research shows that legacy consideration has increased by 10% (41% to 45%) over the last year. However, the downside, according to the report, is that as more people become open to leaving a legacy, and more charities invest time and money on legacy marketing, charities need to grow legacy consideration just to maintain market share. And, while some charities, such as Cats Protection and RSPCA have grown or maintained legacy consideration over the past year, others, including Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, and RNLI have seen a drop.

Other trends include online Will-writing gaining traction, with 41% overall now happy to write their Wills in this way, up from 32% in 2018/19. This includes 51% of 50-59 year olds (up from 40%), 38% of 60-69 year olds (up from 24%), and 27% of those aged 70+ – up from 14% in 2018/19.

The sector’s openness to residuary giving is also increasing – up 10% since 2018/19, to reach 79%, with the report suggesting that charities should ask themselves whether they are doing enough to help their supporters to understand this area.

Georgina Hyman, Senior Legacy & In Memory Manager, Alzheimer’s Research UK, comments in the report:

“The insight and trends that fastmap and Freestyle have identified highlights just how far has come. But we can’t rest on our laurels; it may be more crowded and competitive but the opportunity is bigger than ever before challenging us to make our charity, its cause and vision for the future resonate with supporters and prospects alike – if the legacy and brand team weren’t working closely before they really should be going forward.” 

Also commenting on the findings, David Cole, fastmap Managing Director, said:

 “Viewed through the perspective of an extended wait for revenue, the legacy sector can feel lethargic. When measured using up to date supporter metrics it’s clear the sector is in fact changing rapidly. Not only has consideration, a powerful future measure of revenue projection, increased by a proportionate 10% in a year, structural change is afoot such as media divergence, new entrants and increased competition. Not all charities will rise to the challenge. Indeed some of the leaders whilst still growing are not keeping up with the ‘pack’ and new entrants.”



Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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