I am bored. Bored by so many legacy campaigns. Oh to be different in a way which creates a broad, effervescent smile in older people.\r\n\r\nCharities should make people smile when thinking of a legacy. A smile is good, laughter is not. A laugh is a smile that bursts and crosses the boundary into dangerous territory. Loads of things make all of us smile but laughter is very personal.\r\n\r\nHumour helps cope with difficult situations. It creates a moment of rest and helps express feelings and create warmth.\r\n\r\nBut how far can we go to make sure people notice, and then fall in love with, a legacy campaign?\r\n\r\n\u201cHello I am Boring\u201d\r\n\r\nStudies into humour have been rampant since the mid 19th Century \u2013 my favourite being by Professor E Boring (yes, really) in 1957 \u2013 \u201ca history of experimental psychology\u201d. Can you imagine his presentation, \u201cHello I am Boring\u201d. Hysterical!\r\n\r\nMy sense of humour is somewhere between fantastic and truly dreadful. But I like to challenge boundaries.\r\n\r\nWhen you look at legacy campaigns there is a sense of sameness which really makes my eyelids feel heavy:\r\n\r\n\u201ca third of our income is from gifts in Wills\u201d \u2013 who cares?\r\n\r\n\u201c1 in 3 of our successes are thanks to gifts in Wills\u201d \u2013 better but boring\r\n\r\n\u201c1 in 3 of our patients\/users\/beneficiaries is funded thanks to gifts in Wills\u201d \u2013 this creates the wonderful reaction of going round a hospice looking at patients to find out which one is funded by \u201ca death time gift\u201d. Such a statement can trigger a strange reaction.\r\n\r\nThere are also rumblings heard of statutory funders saying \u201cwell actually we pay for the basic care of ALL patients so what the hell are you saying?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u2018Getting from the Oooooh to the dooooo\u2019\r\n\r\nIn my view, millions of people might consider putting a gift in their Will to their favourite charity. The problem is getting them to leap out of bed one morning with wild enthusiasm to DO IT.\r\n\r\nPassion drives interest. Logic (for an up to date Will) drives ACTION. Boredom triggers a lack of attention \u2013 lethargy and total forgetfulness of a campaign.\r\n\r\nIt is \u2018getting from the Oooooh to the dooooo\u2019 syndrome. Then there is the issue of keeping the legacy in, which is increasingly rare.\r\n\r\nTaking charity stakeholders and primary prospects for the best legacies, we know that most 50+ year olds will have a Will (over 90% in my focus groups) but 65% of their Wills (on average) are out of date.\r\n\r\nSo what are we asking them to do? Add a codicil? Add a Letter of Wishes? Give them the wording for a Will? Access a solicitor? Give them a reason for giving a legacy to YOUR charity?\r\n\r\nAn interesting conundrum.\r\n\r\nHokey cokey syndrome\r\n\r\nWith legacies going through the hokey cokey syndrome at the moment (in out and shaken all about) we know we have a sustainability problem, let alone an action problem, let alone overcoming lethargy\u2026\r\n\r\nThe problem can be rooted in trust and confidence in this \u201cfuture gift\u201d. And at the moment trust and confidence is lacking. But so is the attention span.\r\n\r\nSo how do we get older people to take notice and then action? My favourite campaign is for the British Beekeepers Association, with the tagline \u201cBee a honey and leave us some money\u201d. It is a smile and not a laugh.\r\n\r\nConsider your words\r\n\r\nWords are so important at the moment, especially when so many solicitors are insisting on NOT leaving a residuary legacy to a charity \u201cbecause a charity residuary beneficiary intrudes on the family\u201d.\r\n\r\nI have even met supporters who feel that \u201cRemember a charity\u201d indicates \u201cForget the family\u201d (which many people might want to do but that is another issue!)\r\n\r\nSo should we have a \u201cdying to give\u201d campaign or a \u201cpay as you go\u201d campaign? (The Vikings said death was \u201coff on a boat\u201d which would be perfect for the RNLI.) Or should the RSPB have a campaign \u201cbefore you drop off your perch, leave us a gift in your Will?\u201d Should the Rugby Football Union do a \u201chave you got the balls to leave us a legacy\u201d campaign?\r\n\r\nAsthma UK ages ago (when it was the National Asthma Campaign) said in an in-mem campaign \u201cBreathtaking literally\u201d on a black page with a white, deathly looking lily. That was terrible but memorable.\r\n\r\nI will never forget going to Heathrow and seeing the new Terminal 5 \u2013 \u201cthe Queen\u2019s Terminal\u201d \u2013 my question was \u201cis she really?\u201d\r\n\r\nThink about how people will take in your words and images, and make them smile and take action.\r\n\r\nAnita Roddick said \u201cIf you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.\u201d\r\n\r\nRichard Radcliffe FinstF Cert, founder of Radcliffe Consulting\r\n\r\nRichard spends 2 out of 5 working days in focus groups, 2 out of 5 days developing strategies and 1 in 5 days training to make the ask. But who cares?