Legacy Inspiration Hour: Baby Boomers, partnerships & love letters
Our recent Legacy Inspiration Hour event for members, which took place during Remember A Charity Week 2023, saw four leaders in the legacy sector join us as guest panellists to share their thoughts on the biggest opportunities for legacy fundraising over the next five to 10 years.
Here we share a quick summary of the discussions that took place and some top takeaways from the session:
Baby Boomers and beyond
With the Golden Age of Legacy fundraising upon us, John Turner from RNLI talked us through the data and some of the trends around legacy causal areas and barriers to giving.
Baby Boomers have an estimated wealth of £5.5 trillion that they need to offload when they pass away, presenting a huge opportunity for charities to make a real difference. However, it’s important to understand what makes baby boomers tick. Medical research and welfare are growing whilst religious, armed forces have decreased. Some other causal areas also on a downward trend, such as age-related causes or hospices, are likely to change as Baby Boomers get older.
John also explored the upward trend in investment in cold acquisitions over the past five years - with greater awareness, conversation, choice of where to leave a legacy, and more imbedded acceptance to talk about legacies. However, as a sector there’s a need to create a balance so we don’t do too much or too little. John also encouraged members not to be afraid to try something new.
Looking further ahead, Generation X will be different again! They may not have much wealth (unless inherited) so other opportunities will unfold in another 10-20 years.
Kerry McMenamin from Christian Aid explored the power of partnerships within the charity sector and beyond, engaging corporates and communities in sharing the legacy message.
Finding the right synergy and collaboration can be powerful, and Kerry detailed examples such as Christian Aid’s ‘Faith Will’ to prompt legacy conversations in churches across all denominations, as well as Havens Hospices teaming up with Wild in Art to install public art elephants across the City of Southend, helping to raise visibility of gifts in Wills amongst the public.
Partnerships have the power to transform but they are of course a two-way street. Not only do they offer a chance to access new audiences, but also the opportunity to work more efficiently and effectively by sharing resources.
Partnerships also present a great means to carry out storytelling on a wider scale, as your voice becomes louder when you collaborate and work together.
The changing landscape
Alex McDowell of Revitalise talked about the potential changes to legal, governmental and regulatory environment and the associated opportunities and risks these present.
With legacy income up 43% in the last decade, the success has been twofold: through inspiring supporters to give through their Will, but also through changes to the Will-writing environment, delivered by policymakers and professional advisers often as a result of influence by Remember A Charity and others.
Working with the likes of HMCTS and DCMS has given us insight into the end-to-end process, helped us shape future processes and gives us new information about giving behaviour and legacy forecasting.
Alex highlighted specific opportunities to engage with policy makers including around the protection of tax breaks on legacy giving (Inheritance Tax), the lack of a notification system in Scotland, delays in probate, the Law Commission's consultation on the future of Wills and more.
Find out more in our recent blog on the top five policy issues affecting legacy fundraising.
A love letter to the future
Helen Smith from RNIB considered how we communicate with and remain relevant for our audiences.
There is a need to be agile and flexible in our strategies, as whilst we’ve seen greater awareness, conversation, choice of where to leave a legacy, and more imbedded acceptance to talk about legacies, the next generation will differ and communications will continue to evolve.
Helen advised that, as the next generation will want to know more about impact than previous generations, segmenting your audience is and will continue to be crucial. Sharing stories, embedding verbal communications and making use new technology are all great ways to engage new audiences, so don’t be afraid to try something new. And remember, you will never stop learning!