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New legacy resilience report gives struggling charities hope

We recently had the pleasure of compiling and designing the much-anticipated report Strengthening Charities’ Resilience with Legacies – a collaboration between Remember a Charity, Legacy Foresight, The Institute of Legacy Management and Smee & Ford.

2020 has been tough for everyone. But for many charities it’s been especially so. Against a backdrop of falling public donations, closed charity shops and cancelled fundraising events, the report’s findings will provide welcome reading for CEOs who have seen donations fall off a cliff.

Legacy giving continues to grow in popularity

The report reveals that at a time when overall charity giving is declining, legacy giving is bucking the trend and is in fact increasing in popularity. It states that around 30% of charities have reported legacy gifts account for 1/3 of their income with 11% saying they account for as much as 50% of their income.

That’s incredible when you consider that from a relatively niche method of support in the 1990s, income from legacies has more than quadrupled from £4.9 billion a year to over £17 billion today. Furthermore, the report suggests that there’s every indication that the increase will continue.

Changing profile of legacy givers provides real potential for growth

The rise in legacy donations is due, in part, to increased awareness of legacy giving. But it doesn’t fully explain it. Instead, the report points to the changing profile of the people leaving legacies.

The Silent Generation (born between 1925-1945) is slowly giving way to Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 – 1964). This is important because Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation that the UK has ever seen. They’ve benefitted from rocketing house prices, generous pension schemes and the privatisation of state run industries. In short, this generation are asset rich.

This informative report confirms what we’ve been telling our own clients for a while: that legacy continues to grow in popularity as a way to support charities and that Baby Boomers represent a real opportunity to maximise legacy income. Investing now in a comprehensive legacy marketing programme is absolutely vital for securing income as we move into the middle of the 21st century.

There is a watch out though. Legacy marketing is not a ‘quick fix’. Our experience with charities including PDSA, CLIC Sargent, RNIB, Crisis and Australian Red Cross, shows that the most successful programmes are the ones that are weaved into every aspect of the marketing strategy – with multiple touchpoints. Relationships need to be developed and nurtured, often over many years. But with so much at stake, it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Written by Izzy Cole

Account Director


If you’d like to see how Flourish can help you maximise the potential of your legacy marketing, please get in touch with Izzy – she’d love to hear from you.


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