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Take your fundraising to the next level with the Certificate in Legacy Fundraising

Posted on 15th August 2022

Dr Lucy Lowthian

This year, we at Legacy Futures are working alongside the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy to help deliver the Certificate in Legacy Fundraising. The course is led by leader in the field, Professor Adrian Sargeant, the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at Indiana University and now Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, and legacy experts, Dr Claire Routley and myself.

The course combines the latest academic research with the best of professional experience and practice, allowing both early stage and experienced fundraisers to develop and enhance their skills and build a successful career in legacy giving.

I’m an academic, so of course I love learning – and as a tutor, I’m slightly biased. But this is the kind of course that is so valuable for fundraisers, primarily because it brings together research and action. You can have all the academic knowledge in the world, yet if you don’t know how to apply it to real life scenarios, it won’t raise money. Through the Certificate in Legacy Fundraising, participants will learn the why and what, and progress to the who, how and when – all questions that need to be answered when it comes to effective legacy fundraising.

Starting with a comprehensive overview of legacies, those on the course will learn about the legacy fundraising market and understand more about donor behaviour, including motivations for donating and how to overcome barriers associated with will making.

They’ll also learn about the legacy journey, who pledges legacy gifts and how to target them, and how to design effective legacy communications. Key to engaging donors is an understanding of the ‘why’ behind giving, and the course focuses on the contribution of psychology (something I’m personally very interested in) and how this impacts on legacy decisions.

It’s essential that we keep learning as legacy fundraisers. People change, the channels we use to reach them develop, and the world’s landscape shifts. Only by staying on top of our game can we effectively reach potential donors and existing donors, and generate the funds needed for our charities to change lives.

We’re all busy people, but the benefit of this course is its flexibility. The course offers around 20 hours of online learning spread over four weeks. Participants can login whenever and wherever they want and have access to pre-recorded lectures, assigned readings and discussion forums.

Those on the course will come away with a comprehensive understanding of legacy fundraising, including effective ideas that they can put into action. Offering a great combination of academic thinking, practical experience, and forward-thinking insights, it prepares participants for the future of legacy fundraising. Well worth 20 hours, I think.

The next course starts on the 19th September and you can find out more here.