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Articles > Fundraising Ideas > How charities can get legacy fundraising right

How charities can get legacy fundraising right

Legacy fundraising has the highest return on investment, here's how to include it in the mix of giving initiatives you're running.

Legacy fundraising is a tricky challenge for charities, but can have equally great rewards. On the one hand, charities may prefer to concentrate on regular giving, or major gift pledges, as these both come with more predictable timelines and can help with cash flow reporting. However, legacy fundraising is often the greatest return on investment, with legacy gifts on average returning £30 on each £1 invested*.

Charities need to consider the long-term vision of the charity and its goals when selling legacy fundraising, and are unlikely to use any of the same language that is used throughout other campaigns, as this is usually led with a sense of urgency. If you are looking to get started with legacy fundraising, or explore a new approach to legacy fundraising, here are some tips to help:

1. Start with the right prospect pool

Your legacy donors are unlikely to be first-time donors, nor are they likely to be someone totally unengaged with your charity (though this can happen!). Prospective legacy donors are also likely to already be thinking about or writing up their will, so this may depend on their lifestyle, age and estate. With smart software like ToucanTech, you can track the value and progress of your legacy donations through the donor pipeline, which allows you to track pledges, see a total record of previous engagement, and target segments sitting in individual stages of the pipeline.

2. Selling the benefits to your prospect pool

Legacy donors receive the benefits of being donors before actually having made their donation; they may be invited to your charity’s events, and will receive careful stewardship throughout their lifetime. There are also tax incentives, such as donating 10% of your estate will incur a drop in inheritance tax down to 36% (for estates with a value of less than £375,000), and all donations are tax free.

3. Set up a legacy group

Schools and larger charities often set up a specific group for their legators which recognises the generosity of their gifts. Often societies and groups such as these will throw legacy donor events, and can be part of a special online community. With ToucanTech’s private portal, you can set up a ‘club’ within the online community for your legators to join and hear updates on fundraising projects, connect with other members and sign up to legacy donor events. 

4. Remind your legacy donors to notify your charity

Nonprofit organisations will not automatically get a notification if they are added or removed from a will, so it’s important to try to secure updates from potential legacy donors that the legacy donor updates the charity, school or nonprofit organisation so that they can anticipate this gift and add it to fundraising forecasts. One way to do this is to include a form on your fundraising page for legators to share the potential value of their gift, to include a booklet to download for those interested in making a donation, or even to track clicks on legacy-related content in your email communications, to gauge an idea of interest.

With a sophisticated donor pipeline, tailored fundraising pages and an online platform to engage your donors and prospects, ToucanTech can support your charity in legacy fundraising. Find out more about how ToucanTech can help you to meet your fundraising goals and help safeguard the future of your organisation. 

Request a call back from a member of the team today. 


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