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Legacy income for charities reached £3.85bn in 2022 and, with the UK’s ageing population, this is likely to remain stable.

However, around two thirds of adults don’t have a will and although 35% of over 40s in the UK ‘would be happy to’ leave gifts to charity, only about 6% actually do. This creates a huge opportunity for local charities to explain their work and inspire people to leave them a gift for a cause they care about.

Writing about legacies on and offline can be daunting. Knowing what to say, getting the tone right and knowing where to put the messages on your website or in your literature is challenging. The Institute of Fundraising provides a comprehensive guide to legacy fundraising, covering everything from marketing and communications to legal and ethical issues. You will also find useful information in the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Charity Commission.

It is important to know the law and you might want to approach a local solicitor to talk through the legalities of accepting legacies and to help you put together the information a potential legacy donor and their will writer might need. Helpful information is likely to include your official name, address and registered charity number.

Once you have the legalities and your message clear, you might want to consider launching your legacy fundraising campaign during Remember a Charity Week, which this year runs from 11th to 17th September.

Finally, don’t forget to make sure everyone in your organisation (staff, trustees and volunteers) know about your legacy giving program and feel confident talking about making legacy gifts as a way to support you. Presentations should include a slide about how you would spend a gift from a will. Repeat the message little and often by telling stories to help normalise the idea of legacies as a way to support your organisation. The more people who are confident talking about legacies and including them in their wider work, the greater reach you can achieve with your message.

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