Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

“We wanted to be part of a bigger movement, where we could work towards making legacies become a social norm”

Vanessa Rhazali, Head of Individual Giving at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, explains why Remember A Charity is so important to the charity

“Forty per cent of our income comes from legacies so we couldn’t help 2 out of every 5 people if supporters didn’t leave gifts in Wills. It’s all about strength in numbers and being part of the Remember A Charity campaign is a more powerful message to the public.

“We wanted to be part of a bigger movement, where we could work towards making legacies become a social norm.

“As Scotland’s health charity, we also felt that we had a lot to offer the consortium too, giving it a Scottish voice.  It would be great to grow the Scottish contingent further.”

What did you do during the last Remember A Charity in your Will Week?

“We knew that we needed to engage our internal audiences. Our message came from the top with the CEO giving our 200 staff and 1,200 volunteers a direct call to action to tell someone else about the importance of legacies and to leave a gift in their Will to us.

“We had promotions in all our locations where we used the collateral from Remember A Charity. The posters and bookmarks were extremely useful and we sent them to all our offices, shops, groups and services all over Scotland.

“We used Facebook and LinkedIn before, during and after the Week, we worked with local press and we took an advert in the campaign’s Scotland on Sunday supplement.

“I was also involved in Remember A Charity’s Campaign Council in Scotland working with other members to plan all the activities for the week and helping to develop the #ExtremeWillWriters theme.”

How important were digital channels?

“Eighty three per cent of legacies left to the charity tend to come from women, so we were able to use social media to target our campaign specifically to women as well as geographically in Scotland on a very small budget, leading to an increase in web traffic.

“We’ve seen how digital and social media is key for other fundraising areas, where we’ve had success with LinkedIn as well as Facebook to reach new audiences, so we now use these to promote our legacy message. Creating a ‘Leave a gift in your Will’ button on our home page next to the ‘Give Now’ button has made a difference too, as people are taken straight to our legacy page.  We follow this through with all our printed materials which also promote this link.”

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What worked best for the charity?

“Our very small budget to boost our legacy ad on Facebook really worked, leading to an increase in web traffic. The Scotland on Sunday supplement, jointly funded and produced by Remember A Charity, and other regional evening press were also great for us. There was a consistent message across media and social media, which helped us reach our Scottish audience effectively.”

What Remember A Charity resources have you found most useful?

“We have found the resources from Remember A Charity to be excellent – we use all the collateral.

“The campaign to change social behaviour is an above the line activity, but the work with solicitors is below the line and we can see the impact of that quarterly. Research findings such as how solicitors approach charity gifts in Wills have been really informative and helpful to us about what works.”

What tip would you offer other legacy fundraisers?

“Get the support of the CEO and trustees – the message needs to come from them. You need to drip feed the legacy message through every other activity.”