For over 30 years I have been unflinching in my commitment to grow legacy giving.
Legacies are the ONLY source of funds which enable long term financial health and security.
Legacies are a security blanket, a treasure trove to dip into to GROW or to protect your charity in times of emergency.
Individual giving does not build reserves
Trusts and Foundations give for projects
Statutory funding is project or service based
Corporate funds are largely restricted or for dual interest.
What is there NOT to like about legacies? The answer is simple: it is wanting money NOW – rather like a baby screaming to be fed. “Let’s plug him in and shut him up and we can relax”
That is BAD parent practice – you don’t care about the food – only the temporary peace. The “NOW money syndrome” is bad leadership.
Mahatma Gandhi said: “The future depends on what you do today”. But legacies are not gained today or tomorrow. And bad leaders only think of today whilst in their seats of power.
Investing in legacies is like dieting: “Great idea but let’s leave it for another day”. And then a pandemic hits and all hell breaks out. Furloughed staff, redundancies, reduction in services.
Good leaders are visionaries who plan to fulfil their charity’s vision and mission AFTER their own lifetime as leaders.
Good leaders look at their charity’s accounts, the statement of financial activities and the balance sheet and ask “How can we secure success?”
Bad leaders look at their accounts and ask “How can we get more money NOW”.
No influential body really pushes legacy giving to the degree they should.
- The Charity Commission has virtually NO guidance for Trustees or leaders on the importance of legacies
- ACEVO have nothing on the importance of legacy giving
- NCVO has no guidance on the importance of legacies in long term planning
- The Chartered Institute of Fundraising have Remember a Charity which has influence but more can be done. It is not mission impossible
Short termism governs decision making.
The even more depressing fact is that so little money needs to be invested in “future financial security”.
I am thrilled that legacy giving has almost doubled globally in 15 years. But we ain’t seen nothing yet.
As Covid-19 bites us more painfully, Will writing is going through the roof. Grab the moment now to secure your charity’s future beyond your lifetime.
Yes, I am frustrated, angry and passionate but the moment I lose these feelings is the moment to get the hell out of legacies.
Now, please grab the vaccine.