Do you recycle your household waste?

10 December 2014

If so, is it because: you are aware of the environmental benefits; because it makes you feel good; because most other people recycle or because it’s been made easy for you?

The answer to all of these questions is probably ‘yes’. If so, you are living proof that behaviour change is possible. 15 years ago, the answer to the first question would most likely have been ‘no’.

The increase in household recycling demonstrates how mass behaviour change requires multiple interventions. That’s why the Remember A Charity campaign to make charitable Will writing a social norm focuses on 4 key drivers to increase legacy giving.

One of these drivers is the number of solicitors and professional advisors who inform their clients about the option of including a charity in their Will. 

This is crucial because Will-writing professionals who give their clients this information write twice as many charitable Wills as those who don’t. The use of a socially norming prompt can even treble legacy giving rates.  

It’s therefore great news for charities that more professional advisors than ever before are informing their clients about the option of including a charity in their Will. Remember A Charity is now conducting further trials in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team and Bristol University to establish the impact of different legacy prompts, with individuals from a range of backgrounds or family circumstances.

The evidence gathered through this research will provide Remember a Charity’s members with invaluable insights into the effectiveness of different legacy prompts. More importantly, it will influence Will writing practices and result in more charitable Wills being drafted.

Of course, any increase in prompting by professional advisors won’t mean every charity will receive more gifts in Wills. Charities will still need to inspire their supporters to give and help their donors feel good about their decision.

Many charities do this brilliantly. However, there is now clear evidence that a significant proportion of their efforts to inspire legacy gifts will be wasted if, at the critical point in the Will writing process, gifting to charity does not appear normal or easy.

With so many charities heavily reliant on legacy income, this is waste the sector simply cannot afford.

Alex McDowell, head of legacy and tribute fundraising at NSPCC,
Chair at Remember A Charity