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Talk legacies openly and often – Try to make gifts in Wills part of your everyday conversations internally and externally, building understanding and overcoming any taboos. This doesn’t mean focusing conversations on death or dying, but on how legacy giving enables people to leave a lasting impression on the world. It’s important to make it clear that gifts don’t have to be large to be meaningful; anyone can make their mark simply by writing their wishes into a Will.

Celebrate what legacies enable you to do – Legacies can be transformational for charities and beneficiaries alike. Share legators’ stories, communicating why they wanted to leave a gift and what a difference it has made, inspiring others to follow suit. Showcase your future plans so supporters can see your long-term need for funds and how their gift could have a real and lasting impact.

Champion legacies from the top – Ensure your trustees, CEO and senior management team are on board with legacies and understand the impact they have or can have on your charity. Consider what more they could do to communicate the importance of legacies to staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and supporters alike. Can you convince the board to view legacies as a strategic or organisational priority?

Invest in your legacy fundraising – Whether you have dedicated legacy fundraisers or not, make sure your fundraisers have the training, resources and support they need to make a real success of legacies.

Essentially, the more you put into your legacy programme, the more you’re likely to get out of it, funding vital charitable work for the years ahead.

Make everyone at the charity part of your legacy team – Legacies can have a significant impact on charities’ work and beneficiaries. This means that everybody in the organisation needs to play a part, as they would any other major fundraising event. Encourage staff and volunteers to broach conversations about legacies where appropriate. This might mean highlighting projects funded by legacies or asking supporters if they are interested in finding out more, normalising legacy giving.

Be proactive – Many people aren’t aware of the option of leaving a gift in their Will, how easy it can be and what a long-lasting difference it can make, so it’s important to be proactive. Sensitively promoting legacies across a range of communications channels and highlighting the impact that it makes, can be the difference between occasional legacy gifts and a steady stream of long-term income that enables your charity to achieve a real difference for beneficiaries.

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