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Partnership with solicitors

Posted on 17 August 2006 at 10:45 am

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 12 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Anonymous
    17 August 2006 at 10:45 am #2536

    Hi,

    I am in the process of putting together a legacy pack and we were looking at making some kind of partnership with solicitors such as you make your will with xxx solicitors and they will donate £xx to our charity. Does anyone have any experience of setting up such a partnership with solicitors and would like to share their experience? Is it practical and would solicitors be interested?

    However, I have also noticed the Will Aid month is running throughout November and wondered if it would be better to try and push that to our supporters instead – even though the money raised will not go directly to our charity we may still get the legacies set up?

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

    Many thanks, Kathryn

    Anonymous
    25 August 2006 at 1:43 pm #8754

    Hi,
    I am in the process of putting together a legacy pack and we were looking at making some kind of partnership with solicitors such as you make your will with xxx solicitors and they will donate £xx to our charity. Does anyone have any experience of setting up such a partnership with solicitors and would like to share their experience? Is it practical and would solicitors be interested?

    However, I have also noticed the Will Aid month is running throughout November and wondered if it would be better to try and push that to our supporters instead – even though the money raised will not go directly to our charity we may still get the legacies set up?

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
    Many thanks, Kathryn

    — An open note to my UKFundraising colleagues. I truly appreciate the opportunity and the privilege to be allowed to engage with you on this excellent Forum. I am careful to avoid overdoing it from my position here in the USA, recognizing it is your Forum. That’s why I have held in check my response to Kathryn until now. I had noted that two of my previous posts are still up in view, and I was reluctant to pop up once again. But, I see no other reply to Kathryn’s query, so I thought it time to send it on. By the way, through my website, I regularly receive non-profit fund-raising questions and challenges from folks outside of the US, and it helps me a great deal to learn from you as there is no other like resource from which to get the world view of fund-raising. Thank you.

    Kathryn: I am eager as you to know how such attempts turn out when charities seek to establish relations between them and solicitors (attorneys) regarding the legacy instruments of their clients to have the charities as beneficiaries. It would be interesting to compare the attitudes of the solicitors in the UK to those of estate financial planners here in the USA (attorneys, bank trust officers, certified public accountants, etc.) when it comes to providing them with legacy packs, brochures—publications—which lets them know that we are more than happy to accept the legacy gifts of their clients via bequests, paid insurance policies, charitable trusts, etc.

    In my early days as Director of Development for a major performing arts organization, we began our legacy program. One of the first things we thought of was to provide our new Planned Giving/Deferred Giving/Legacy brochure to as many of our city’s estate financial planners as possible. We thought it would be to our advantage to have those professionals receive, read, and retain to keep at the ready, our organization’s name, purpose, and other information in the expectation that the Legacy professionals would recommend us at the right time to the right clients as a worthy and deserving beneficiary of their clients’ legacy gifts.

    We were dead wrong.

    Fortunately, before we went too far apace with mass distribution of our new Legacy brochure, we had enough feedback from a number of financial planners whom we knew, and who made it quite and explicitly clear, that such a legacy “seeding” process as we naively envisioned was not at all what they would ever endorse or practice.

    It turned out, here—in Cleveland, Ohio—that it was the most distant exception that an estate financial planner would suggest to Mrs. Smith that she provide in her estate that her money be given to a specific charity. The next distant exception was that Mrs. Smith would ever ask her estate financial planner for her or his recommendation of a beneficiary charity.

    Almost always, Mrs. Smith—and all of the other clients of the scores of estate financial planners whom we learned about through a survey—was the person who knew well and specified the charity she wanted to support.

    As a matter of fact, I recall a number of financial planners who were quite put out that we would expect them to, in some way, interfere with the sanctity of their clients’ funds entrusted to their stewardship, by steering the money to causes the financial planners favored.

    We learned that seeking to establish such direct or tacit connections to our charity and their clients, was almost totally ignored. How is it in the UK?

    Anonymous
    16 February 2007 at 11:59 am #8755

    As an ex-solicitor I agree with all Tony has said. It is a waste of time writing round your local lawyers asking them to suggest to will-making clients that they might remember your charity in their Wills. All solicitors’ offices have a thick annual directory of charities prepared for just this purpose in case a client says “I’d like to leave some money to cystic fibrosis research, do you have any suggestions ?” and unless you’re in that, you’re dead.
    What you can do – and you may be thinking of this – is involve one friendly local solicitor in a Wills Evening, or a session on the back of some event that brings a lot of your supporters together. You are offering them a set of potential new clients and good publicity ; in return they should offer your supporters a discount on will-making, though they will be reluctant to take insutructions there and then. But it gets over the fear of the unknown which stops many people going into lawyers’ offices “cold”. You cannot make any kind of condition that they should leave your charity something ; you just have to express a hope, and hope that they remember you kindly because you organised the event that put them in touch with the nice lawyer.

    Anonymous
    23 April 2007 at 3:05 pm #8756

    Hi All.

    I have worked with a number of charities in providing them with information of solicitors for Will writing campaigns.

    A number of charites find it very effective to promote themselves, rather than just sending them the standard mailing piece saying remember us in your will, a number of charities go a step further, and send mouse mate, annual calendars or the latest one desktop mobil phone holders, which are brillant as the solicitor gets a free gift which will remain on there desk, maybe it would be worth trying something along these lines rather than your standard letter which may end up in the bin.

    To give you an idea this is a testimonial from on of our recent clients:

    ‘Within weeks of our mailing we received a sizeable legacy which more than covered the cost of the database. We are delighted.’
    Sue Dixon, Legacy Co-ordinator, DRWF

    Hopefully this will help.

    Regards

    Jonathan Paul
    http://www.wdm-lists.com
    02075492590

    Anonymous
    23 April 2007 at 3:16 pm #8757

    I entirely agree with Jonathan that you have to be a bit imaginative to get the attention of solicitors for your charity. But don’t rely on mundane ideas like calendars or biros. Solicitors, like purchasing managers or anyone perceived to have influence over the spending (or leaving) of money, get deluged with desktop rubbish. You need to think of something quirky and amusing, and obviously the possibilities are limited. It’s probably been done, but …. How about a CD with a certified-virus-free screensaver (or choice of screensavers or wallpapers – scenic, cartoony, legal satire) bearing the charity’s logo ? Bear in mind that such things are likely to be seen by the lawyers’ clients so they can’t be too in-jokey or offensive !

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