Legacies – The Future Depends on What You Do Today

When you think about it, receiving a legacy is a real sign of respect and appreciation for the work of your charity. It is the outcome, not just of a good fundraising strategy, but the wonderful work undertaken by your staff and the impact on those supported.

Legacies provide the most fantastic income for charities.

  • Individual giving does not build reserves
  • Trusts and Foundations give for projects
  • Statutory funding is project or service based
  • Corporate funding is largely restricted and often time-consuming
  • BUT, legacies are mostly flexible / unrestricted

Legacy income can help in so many ways including:

  • Day to day funding – where you have a more predictable legacy income
  • Projects that might not otherwise happen and for which foundation or government money is not available
  • Build reserves
  • Create an endowment…

Mahatma Gandhi said: “The future depends on what you do today”. But legacies are not gained today or tomorrow. Many leaders only think of today. Investing in legacies is like dieting: “Great idea but let’s leave it for another day”. Because short termism often governs decision making when allocating fundraising resources, legacies are the forgotten child.

Legacy giving has almost doubled globally in 15 years. But there is more to come. And just look at the demographics in Ireland. Campaign Solutions is undertaking significant original research about legacy giving in Ireland. The results will be interesting!

As Covid-19 bites us more painfully, will writing is going through the roof. Now is a key moment to secure your charity’s future… beyond Covid, beyond your lifetime.

This article is written with inputs included from an article by UK legacy expert Richard Radcliffe.

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