The importance of legacy communications

Richard chatWhen I visit charities to discuss their fundraising programmes, I am often surprised at the lack of attention that’s paid (even at some larger organisations) to their legacy activity. Often it’s either non-existent or limited to a couple of modest mentions in the half-yearly newsletter.

This may be due to organisations being too focussed on short term priorities (like cash appeals) or could be due to concerns about writing to supporters about such a sensitive subject. Organisations may also feel they don’t have the resources to manage another programme of activity, like legacy marketing.

An email from a client last week reminded me though of why everyone should be doing legacy activity – as the impact it can have on your income stream is remarkable.

Over the last few years at ChangeStar we’ve been quietly working away to develop legacy programmes for our clients that are not only effective but are also long term, can be implemented easily and can be run without having to involve an external agency in the long term. We’ve come up with a model that does all these things.

We’ve developed these activities for a range of clients – from Sightsavers to Fauna & Flora International – and it seems to have been just what they needed.  The email I received from one of our clients laid out the remarkable ‘before’ and ‘after’ impact of our legacy programme on the number of legacy pledgers they had gained and the transformative effect it has had – both on their income and their fundraising as a whole.  Get in touch and I’ll tell you about the figures, but for now here’s a quick quote from the client:

“We suspected legacies could be a source of new income for our charity, and since 2010 – with ChangeStar’s help – we’ve been blown away by the results. Not only has our legacy income increased, but it now represents one of the largest, if not the largest single source of voluntary income that we receive. It’s also allowed us to engage with our supporters on a whole new level.”

Yes – it’s blowing our own trumpet, but the effect on the charity’s income is pretty spectacular.  Do get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss how to get more out of your legacy programme!


Richard Docwra, Director, ChangeStar
Tel: 01273 964018