Legacies and bequests

Please treat this section with respect. For if within these pages you can find out how to increase your share of the massive legacy (more commonly referred to as bequests in North America) income that seems to fall each year from heaven above into fundraisers’ laps, you’ll have done well indeed. So, this is the place where you’ll find some of the best ideas worth borrowing, truly the all-time greats of legacy marketing.

Living Legacy Society newsletter, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, USA


This newsletter represents the culmination of nearly a decade of successful direct marketing efforts by Mal Warwick Associates and the staff of the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

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Surveying the legacy landscape: why we’re doing it and why we need you

by Natasha van Bentum

What do senior fundraisers in Madrid, Winnipeg, Wyoming, Geneva, Singapore, Manchester, Calgary, Dublin and Hamburg have in common?

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Just the facts on legacy giving

by Mal Warwick

Rumour has it that legacy gifts account for as much as one-third of the philanthropic income of charities in the UK, or at least of the largest ones. Whether or not that’s an accurate estimate, it’s clear to all observers that legacies account for a far larger share of charitable revenue in the British Isles than they do elsewhere.

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Five ‘must dos’ of bequest fundraising

by Fiona McPhee

In this helpful breakdown of how to set out a legacy fundraising strategy, Fiona insists that it is not just the big brand charities that have the potential to develop a significant legacy income and provides step-by-step advice on how to increase legacy-gifts for your organisation.

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Hilda’s suitcase: when’s the right time to discuss leaving a legacy?

A suitcase

by Norma Cameron

You’ll love this charming and personal story from Norma Cameron in Canada, who learned an important lesson about gift planning from her mum.

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Change can take us by surprise

by Andrew Papworth

Understanding the changes that could influence how your donors view your legacy marketing is extremely important says Andrew Papworth.

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Action on Hearing Loss: put a gift in your will


Action on Hearing Loss has calculated that this legacy campaign is likely to generate around £2 million in the future.

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AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons): legacies booklet and newsletter


This booklet and newsletter were the centerpiece of a direct marketing legacy promotion programme. Given the huge size of the AARP membership and the substantial range of interests and abilities, Mal Warwick Associates opted to organise the multi-faceted legacy programme illustrated in these materials.

Please note: This exhibit is "under construction"

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LA Gay and Lesbian Center: legacy leadership campaign



The centre created an exceptional legacy programme, combining the best of direct mail and telephone marketing with sensitive cultivation and stewardship techniques.

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Is this the best way to develop bequests?

by Rich Fox

Most organisations are surprised when they receive bequests. Many of the people who leave bequests do not even appear on the organisation’s donor file, and most of the others have been only low value donors for a number of years (and are often lapsed) -- not the kind of people who you might expect to leave a large bequest.

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In lieu of flowers: how to write lively memorial donation thank-you letters

by Lisa Sargent

Are your in-memoriam donation thank-you letters destined for donor oblivion?

This copywriting clinic looks to help you rescue them from a fate worse than, well… death.

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