Transferring wealth
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4 steps to prepare your charity for the Great Wealth Transfer

Jake Edwards, Partnerships Manager at Farewill, has run successful legacy fundraising campaigns with Macmillan Cancer Support, Save The Children and Stonewall. Here, he offers expert tips on getting your charity match-fit for the Great Wealth Transfer.

Over the next 30 years, £5.5 trillion is set to be passed down to the next generation. This is a huge opportunity for charities across the UK to increase their legacy income, but it’s important to put the processes in place today to make sure you don’t miss out.

Since launching our online will writing service in 2015, we’ve learned a lot about running successful legacy fundraising campaigns – raising over £125 million in pledged donations along the way.

Here’s four steps you can take to get your charity ready for the Great Wealth Transfer.

1. Look beyond your regular donors

"How can we get our supporters to leave us a gift in their will?" That’s the question most charities ask when they start planning a legacy fundraising campaign. And while it’s always a good question to ask, it’s also important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

There are over 30 million adults in the UK that don’t have a will. That’s 30 million people who haven’t yet found the time or energy to make sure their family’s future is protected. These people lead busy lives, and many of them are just waiting for that much-needed nudge to get their will sorted. And for most people, that nudge is a free will offer that’s quick and convenient.

This is likely something that would resonate with your existing supporter base, but there are many other groups worth considering too, including:

  • Volunteers
  • Staff members
  • Corporate Partners
  • Beneficiaries and their families
  • People taking part in charity events

We recently created a legacy giving campaign for the internal staff at Action For Children. Jess Pratt, Legacy Manager, says: “Legacies can be as difficult to market internally as they are externally. This staff offer not only gave us the opportunity to engage our staff, but offer them a tangible benefit while securing future income for the cause. We have almost £100,000 in pledges we are likely to retain and have unlocked one of our most important stakeholder groups – our own staff!”

2. Make it easy for people by offering an online will writing option

A recent survey shows that 69% of people want to write their will out of office hours. So if the only option you offer is to write a will with a solicitor or nine-to-five law firm, you’re immediately cutting over two-thirds of your potential legacy income. To maximise charitable gifts throughout the Great Wealth Transfer, you need to have an online will writing solution in place that’s quick and convenient.

Today, 54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online, with 21% of all donations coming through social media*. Social can be an extremely effective medium for driving supporters to an online will writing service, but it’s also a great place to test the waters with a cold audience. Not only can this encourage legacy gifts, it can also help to build awareness and ongoing support for your charity.

Working with the British Ecological Society, we created a social campaign that delivered three times their annual legacy fundraising target within just a few months. Paul Bower, Fundraising and Development Manager, says: “Working with Farewill has revolutionised the way our charity raises funds through legacy donations. By offering a convenient will-writing solution that new and existing supporters can access with the click of a button, we went from zero to £200,000 in just six months.”

3. Highlight the positive impact of legacies to your supporters

When planning a legacy fundraising campaign, it’s important to remember that you’re not just asking for a few pounds in a bucket. With each individual legacy gift, you could be talking about tens of thousands of pounds out of someone’s estate.

As the biggest source of income for charities in the UK, there’s no doubt that legacies make a huge impact on the work you do, but that doesn’t mean your supporters know that.

By showcasing the importance of legacies alongside your free will offer, you can increase the chances of residuary donations from both existing supporters and your cold audience.

“Really straight forward process. Very easy to complete and a great way to donate to an important charity.” Doreen Williams ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

4. Use real-time analytics to truly understand the impact of your campaigns

One of the biggest challenges any legacy fundraiser faces is getting the buy-in and budget for their campaigns. But with the right tracking and reporting in place, you can easily prove value to your internal team so you can grow your legacy budget year on year.

At Farewill, we’ve developed our own legacy dashboard to help charities optimise the success of their fundraising campaigns. This also allows you to measure the effectiveness of each channel, which is vital if you’re running a campaign across email, social, direct mail, events and your own legacies page.

With the right analytics tool in place, you’ll be able to answer questions like:

  • Which channel is the most effective in driving pledges?
  • What type of gifts are being left?
  • How many pledges have we had and what’s the total estimated value?
  • How much will we raise if we scale our social campaign?

Gabi Todd, Senior Legacy Promotions Manager at Macmillan, sayse: “Farewill are always highly professional and easy to work with. Their personalised dashboard makes tracking results from our Free Will Service in real time incredibly easy and we particularly appreciate their commitment to the continuous improvement of their service.”


By following these four steps, you can make sure your charity has a successful fundraising strategy in place for the Great Wealth Transfer.

If you’re interested in working with Farewill, fill out this quick 30-second form and we'll get in touch to set up a meeting or call.

*Source: Non-profits Source

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