Remember A Charity welcomes 200th member

26 October 2017

The sector’s legacy consortium, Remember A Charity, is announcing that a new milestone has been reached, with 200 charities now working together to promote legacy giving.

By focusing on what no single charity can do alone, the consortium enables the sector to collaborate with one clear voice about the importance and impact of gifts in Wills. Remember A Charity delivers high impact public awareness campaigns, lobbying government and the legal sector to help make legacy giving become a social norm.

Joining as the consortium’s 200th member this month, Shine Charity supports those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Chief Executive, Kate Steele, highlights the importance of legacy fundraising for the organisation, saying: “By being part of the Remember A Charity campaign, Shine will be part of a movement to grow our legacy giving now and into the future, working alongside fellow charities to raise awareness and promote the importance of gifts in Wills to our supporters and the wider public.

“Shine is delighted to be recognised as the 200th member. Such high membership is testament to the faith that the third sector has in the work of Remember A Charity, and recognition of the importance and potential to grow legacy giving for the benefit of so many.”

Having been established as the Legacy Promotion Group by a steering group which included 5 charities in the year 2000, Remember A Charity has continued to grow over the years. Its 200 members now includes the ten largest charities by legacy income (who raise over £700 million through legacies annually) right through to an increasing number of small, community-based organisations.

Remember A Charity’s Membership & Supporter Development Manager, Emma Bockhop, adds: “The size and diversity of the consortium’s membership are critical success factors for the campaign. A broad base brings a wide range of insights and experiences and makes our collective voice more powerful. Crucially, it also extends the reach and relevance of our messages and influencing work, bringing us ever closer to achieving our goal of normalising legacy giving. We thank all our members for their support and encourage other charities to come on board to help achieve our shared goal even more quickly.”

Since Remember A Charity launched, legacy giving has grown. The proportion of UK Wills that include a charitable gift has increased by 31%  between 2007 and the latest tracking study (in 2016)[1], with over 13,000 charities now named in Wills annually.

Highlights of the consortium’s work include:

  • Lobbying government to make legacies a key theme of the 2012 Giving White Paper and a core part of the Government’s giving agenda going forward.
  • Behavioural research trials with solicitors showing that referencing the option of leaving a charitable bequest can treble the number of gifts made and working with the legal community to incorporate this approach into Will-writing practice.
  • Signing up more than 1,100 solicitors and Will-writers to its Campaign Supporter scheme and encouraging all legal advisers to promote legacy giving to clients, with tracking research indicating that 72% of legal advisers now discuss the tax benefits of legacy giving with clients (up from 61% in 2009)[2].
  • Ongoing public awareness drives for legacy giving, including the annual Remember A Charity Week.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a founding member of Remember A Charity and played a key role in setting up the consortium. The charity’s Senior Marketing Manager, Clare McCulloch, says: “Although the RNLI has had an active legacy fundraising programme for many years, it’s fantastic being part of a sector-wide campaign that has the potential to make legacy giving something that everyone will think about when writing a Will.

“We know that many more people in the UK are warm to the idea of leaving a gift in their Will than those that actually do and Remember A Charity is so important in helping us come together to close that gap. The work that the consortium has done has been instrumental in raising the profile of charitable giving in Wills and Remember A Charity Week is a great opportunity for us all to stimulate the conversation around legacy giving, with staff, volunteers and supporters.”

“Remember A Charity provides some amazing benefits, including access to research, legacy fundraising knowledge, an ‘off the shelf’ campaign for charities who may not have dedicated legacy fundraising resource and access to solicitors who will write discounted Wills, to name just a few.”

Tim Hunter, Fundraising Director at Oxfam, adds: “Remember A Charity has been an important part of Oxfam’s legacy fundraising strategy from the word go. Even in the early days, the consortium’s public campaigns were markedly different from the sector’s typical legacy communications; a conscious shift to lighten the tone and use humour to break down barriers and get us all talking about gifts in Wills. They’ve encouraged us not to shy away from using digital channels and we’ve achieved great engagement with our supporters this way, using Facebook and Twitter. Behind the scenes, a collective and unified voice is the most effective way of working with Government and the legal sector to achieve change and to ensure that the vital importance of legacies cannot be forgotten.”

Remember A Charity’s best known public awareness campaigns include its first TV campaign, Michael Buerk’s “I will. Will you?”, the humorous “Take A Moment” campaign, Greg Wallace’s Café de Mort serving potentially deadly ingredients and, more recently, Emperor Rosko’s return with the launch of Last Pirate FM.

The consortium model has been emulated internationally and similar campaigns are running in many nations, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

[1] nfpSynergy, 2016

[2] Future Thinking, 2016