An award-winning legacy fundraiser

16 January 2015

It has been a very exciting week. Monday evening was a particular highlight as I was delighted to receive the Legacy10 national Award for Excellence presented by Culture Secretary, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, at a special dinner at Villandry, St James’s.

Winning the Award was a complete, but wonderful surprise, especially when so many charities are doing such a great job of talking about legacies with their supporters. I believe I was lucky enough to win the Award because of lessons learnt from my previous work at a registered charity and the V&A’s involvement with Remember A Charity, which I have been able to translate into the Art and Museum worlds.

Many people simply do not realise that institutions such as the V&A are charities and do not receive all their funding from Government. Increasingly, these institutions face funding cuts and are required to self-generate income.  Yet, at the same time, there is an expectation to continue to provide free public access to national works of art and heritage, which is costly. This means looking for alternative ways of finding support. Gifts in Wills is an obvious starting-point for the Arts and Cultural sectors.

It is well known that the Arts are the bottom of the charitable causes for legacy-giving, but the good news is that this means there is real potential for the Arts to grow their legacy income. In my role at the V&A, I have been exploring new ways in which to raise the profile of legacy-giving for the Arts and Cultural sectors, generally from using social media to running more legacy events, but crucially through the V&A’s involvement with Remember A Charity.

Working in a consortium provides a wonderful opportunity to learn from other more successful sectors and bring that expertise to the V&A. Through our Remember A Charity membership, we have been able to secure editorial in a national newspaper as well as enjoy a raised profile through social media. During Remember A Charity week alone, one celebrity re-tweeted the V&A’s legacy-giving message to some 90,000 followers, and this is just our first year of membership!

I am therefore very grateful for Remember A Charity’s support and believe this partnership went a long way in helping the Legacy10 panel reach their decision.

For more information about gifts in Wills to us, visit the V&A’s website.

For more information about the campaign, visit Legacy10’s website.

Susan Hughes, legacies manager at the Victoria & Albert Museum