Legacy fundraising

Whether you call them legacies, gifts in wills or bequests – asking a donor to remember your charity, with a gift that lives on beyond their lifetime, is a delicate yet important conversation. In this section we share inspiring examples of how charities have spoken to their donors about legacy and in-memoriam giving. If you have an innovative or successful campaign to share, please let us know.

Legacy brochures from 90 years ago – what’s the same and what’s different to today?

by Marina Jones

This is a rare ‘legacy edition’ from our ever-growing fundraising history project. Marina Jones has uncovered some gems in The Salvation Army archive, two legacy brochures from the 1930s. In this article she looks at what’s stayed the same (Marina found ten things!), as well as what’s changed, when it comes to talking to donors about making a gift in their will.

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Battersea Dogs and Cats Home: ‘Leaving a gift in your will’ TV ad

by Gina Hollands

Since this upbeat, inspiring television ad started airing in 2020 it has helped generate over 1,000 legacy information pack requests. But how did the fundraisers do it? Keep reading to discover how Battersea Dogs and Cats Home created a legacy television ad that’s proven its worth over the past three years… and counting.

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The Legacy Showcase – where fundraisers share inspiring campaigns


SOFII knows that fundraisers like you understand the importance of legacy fundraising and are seeking new ideas to inform and inspire your work. Well look no further! The Legacy Showcase is a collection of short videos where fundraisers share their favourite legacy campaign and explain why they think it’s worthy of your admiration too.

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Legacy seeds

by John Lepp

‘The ‘past’ truly can be a part of a glorious future’ – John Lepp explains why sprinkling some legacy seeds in your donor communications can lay the groundwork for future success.

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Greenpeace Canada: Coronavirus legacy campaign

by Tristan Woodford

How Greenpeace Canada used the pandemic crisis to get closer to their donors and start a conversation about the future.

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Shelter: Give People Change legacy proposition and campaign

by Joe Nicholson

In this case study you’ll discover how Shelter transformed their legacy fundraising and secured £1 million of pledges in just one year. Crucially, the charity began their campaign with a new and improved proposition for long-term donors.

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Jewish Foundation of Manitoba: The Book of Life legacy programme

by Kimberley MacKenzie

It’s hard to know how to start a conversation about legacies. But the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba found the perfect way to do just that. In this case study, Kimberley MacKenzie explains that instead of talking about death, the charity chose to talk about life – through the stories of their donors.

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Should you enthusiastically promote legacy giving when people are dying?

by Claire Axelrad

Is it a good time to be asking your donors to leave a legacy? Claire Axelrad explores this difficult question and comes to some thought-provoking conclusions.

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Why do people give? The legacy podcast with Richard Radcliffe

by Mark Phillips

In this conversation, experienced legacy fundraiser Richard Radcliffe shares why people leave bequests and what changes he has noticed over the yearsparticularly as baby boomers have begun to seriously consider which charities they want to remember.

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Tutorial 57: stand in your donor’s shoes

by Jerry Huntsinger

Someone somewhere is waiting for your mail. She could be a legacy prospect. Have you excluded her from your mailing list because she gave so little last time – even though she’s been making donations for years?

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The secret of legacy giving is hidden in the life story of your best donors

by Ashley Rowthorn

Ashley Rowthorn shares memories of his grandfather and explains how his story relates to research into how and why donors leave money to charities in their wills. If you are working in legacy fundraising, be sure to take a look! 

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Legacies, they’re nowt to do with thee!*

by Ashley Rowthorn

If you want to create a great, inspirational legacy campaign, you need to get inside your donors’ heads.

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