April 2020 will surely forever be synonymous with the global pandemic and the first of the national lockdowns to grip the country. But despite the backdrop, this was the very moment that we brought Legacy Foresight together with Legacy Link and Legacy Voice into one home – soon to emerge as the Legacy Futures Group.
Our goal (then and now) was to help charities around the world harness the transformative power of legacy and in memory giving, curating insight and expertise across the group to offer the most informed and integrated approach. Over that time, legacies have been crucial for the sector, particularly when other income streams faltered.
Now, two years on, we take a quick look at what’s changed, the new projects we’re working on and how we hope to support the sector in the years ahead. We’d love to hear your suggestions too, so if you have thoughts or ideas about how we can help you, please share them with us here.
Helping maximise potential from the legacy and in memory world
With our analysts in the Foresight team predicting that legacy income will average over £4 billion a year over the next five years, the legacy and in memory giving world is an exciting space and we’re exploring a range of ways to help charities maximise that income.
We’ve taken on some exceptional talent within Legacy Futures, with more than 50 people now in place across our research, analysis, consultancy and estate administration teams. This means we can support over 200 charities in the UK, as well as clients in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and even Australia.
On the strength of our flagship research and analysis programmes, legacy fundraising consultancy and administration services, we’ve been able to develop several new sector offerings. This includes forming the Hospice Legacy Circle, which brings together over 25 hospices to share best practice in legacy fundraising – a model that has been well received and that we hope to extend to other sector groups. (Again, we’d welcome expressions of interest on this front.)
Behind the scenes, our fundraising specialists at Legacy Voice are hard at work developing inspiring legacy campaigns in partnership with leading charities, ranging from Comic Relief to the Natural History Museum, Scope to the Trussell Trust, RSPCA to WeltHungerHilfe. Meanwhile, our fast-growing Legacy Link team is helping many such organisations navigate complex estate administration issues, minimise hold-ups at probate, and process legacy gifts swiftly and sensitively.
One of the greatest benefits of working together is that we can draw on relevant insight and expertise from across the group. This has enabled us to launch projects such as Legacy Inspire – our mystery shopping programme on legacy marketing materials, combining the expertise from our Foresight and Voice teams to evaluate materials and help charities develop more effective and engaging resources. And our new MOT product, for charities who want an annual look under the legacy bonnet; to ensure they remain on track, to identify priorities and new growth opportunities.
Then of course there’s the Legacy Futures Awards, which celebrates success and innovation across the sector. Look out for more on this shortly as we’ll be announcing this year’s winners in May.
Life continues to evolve as more charities look to strengthen their income through legacies and in memory giving. A big part of that growth is coming from smaller charities, many of which are having great success with their legacy programmes. So, we’re working on making our services even more accessible – this includes our specialist forecasting service for small and emerging charities, and partnering with the team at Fundraising Everywhere to deliver a global online legacy fundraising conference on 28th April.
We’re also conscious that growth itself is a challenge – one that needs to be managed and supported. With this in mind, we’re continuing to monitor that growth, feeding into sector debate about improving efficiencies in working practices and the need for many to scale up legacy teams if they are to be in the best position to benefit from this growth.
If you have ideas for other ways you think we could help you, we’re always keen to hear from you. Get in touch here…