We work with groups of charities to monitor and benchmark trends in legacy and in-memory giving.  We examine patterns by charity size, age and sector and debate the drivers of past and future income.

In a fast-changing environment, the reports help to understand trends and manage expectations.

Legacy Monitor Netherlands 2019 has kicked off with 4 new charity members: Alzheimer Nederland, IFAW, Nationaal Ouderenfonds and Plan Nederland.

Between them, this year’s 19 consortium members represent almost half of the top 100 Dutch legacy charities’ combined legacy income.  

This year’s programme will continue to analyse performance and marketing benchmarks, update our Dutch legacy market forecasts and carry out new research into legacy donors’ motivations and attitudes.

Legacies have become a very important source of income for Dutch charitable organisations. In 2016 the hundred largest legacy charities received €311 million through wills, representing 27% of all fundraised income, compared to just 21% in 2005. Faster growth is predicted for the next ten years, averaging 3.8% p.a. Over that period the number of Dutch deaths is predicted to increase by 1.1% per year; house prices are expected to rise by 3.9% per year and share prices by 3.3% per year. 

Arjen van Ketel, programme manager of Legacy Monitor Netherlands said “We’re delighted to welcome our new charities on board. As the consortium has reached this large number of participants, we can collect and benchmark data from a very robust sample and make  comparisons between sectors. We can also conduct more consumer research and explore issues such as the growth of will-making, the behaviour and perceptions of Dutch baby boomers and the "invisible" legators who exist both inside and beyond a charity’s database”.

What’s new this year?

The Legacy Foresight Netherlands team is planning a new research project on the Dutch ‘invisible legator’ – the 46% of legators who were apparently unknown to the charity before they died. The project will build on the widely reported British Invisible Legator project carried out in 2017, using an in-depth survey of 500+ Dutch legacy donors.

To keep up to date with our news on the UK and Dutch legacy markets, you can sign up to our newsletter by clicking the Subscribe button to the right.

In 2018 our 80 Legacy Monitor members received £1.46bn in legacy income which equates to a 2.3% fall in the income recorded in 2017. Bequest numbers have also dropped over the last three quarters, with figures now totalling 54,325 for 2018.

There are three main factors behind the decline; A slowdown in the number of deaths, and as a result a downturn in the volume of bequests notified. Secondly, we’ve seen a slight change in the bequest ‘mix’, with residual numbers lagging cash gifts. And last – but by no means least - the macro-economic climate has weakened as the ‘fog of Brexit’ continues to hamper economic activity.

We estimate that if Briton crashes out of the EU without a deal, legacy incomes will be £1.2bn lower over the next five years. The closer to the Brexit deadline we get, the higher the chance of this occurring.

For more on the latest Legacy Monitor results, download the Legacy Bulletin.

We’re excited to announce the launch of Legacy Journey, a new online platform which will track the communications received by legacy and in-memory donors throughout their supporter journeys.

Legacy Journey is a consortium-based product and will give visibility of every member’s legacy stewardship communications across all channels and all legacy segments. 

How it works

Unique seeds for each supporter segment are inserted into consortium clients’ databases with all communication channels opted in, including direct mail, email, SMS and telephone. All communications sent to key legacy supporter segments, including legacy pledgers, prospects and in-memory supporters will be monitored. We will also track the legacy communications that are sent to other important supporter segments including cash and regular giving. The communications then received are scanned and uploaded to the Legacy Journey platform to be viewed immediately, each piece of communication can be ‘clicked’ so that the entire PDF creative can be viewed.

Benefits for legacy fundraisers

Legacy Journey will enable legacy fundraisers to:

  • Ensure their planned supporter experience matches the actual experience received.
  • Ensure GDPR compliance is met and that internal data ownership rules are being followed
  • Learn from peer charities about the breadth, frequency and ‘quality’ of communications, and gain inspiration for creative and copy
  • See how legacy communication trends across the consortium are changing over time

As well as access to the Legacy Journey platform, members will receive communications updates on a monthly basis, a bespoke annual review with recommendations to improve legacy communications and an annual consortium-wide presentation, discussing best practice examples, charity case studies and wider consortium trends.

Interest and investment in legacy stewardship is growing

Legacy stewardship is a hot topic among fundraisers, as a way of converting, retaining and, potentially growing the value of gifts from known supporters. Fundraisers are investing in cultivation activities which convert prospects to pledgers and retention activities to ensure that pledgers keep the gift in their will over time.

Last year’s Understanding Legacy Stewardship research project involved 29 leading UK charities. Our member survey revealed that almost all of the charities in our consortium expected to be investing more resource on legacy stewardship over the next five years; 42% of them anticipated a lot more investment.

But despite the growing interest, almost half of all respondents (46%) felt that legacy stewardship does not – as yet – have sufficient priority in their charity. Our clients told us that a lack of hard evidence – about what works, the return on investment and actionable strategies – is curbing organisational commitment. 

Legacy Journey, alongside other sector initiatives including our recent stewardship research, will help to address this evidence gap. As the consortium grows we will gain a much greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t work for legacy stewardship, and ultimately that can only be a good thing for supporters as well as for fundraisers.

If you’re interested in joining the consortium or finding out more about Legacy Journey, please get in touch with Richard Hill: r.hill@legacyforesight.co.uk

Legacy Foresight has announced that its Legacy Monitor for 2019 has grown, with three new charities joining for next year.  In a statement, Legacy Foresight said that older person’s charity Independent Age, the World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF) and homelessness charity Shelter will join the legacy consortium’s benchmarking scheme next year. This brings the total number of organisations within the consortium to 80, which covers over half of all UK legacy income combined.

Richard Hill, programme manager at Legacy Foresight, said: “The Legacy Monitor programme has a wide range of members that ensures all sectors, ages and sizes of charity are well represented, from super-brands to rising stars. "We’re delighted to welcome Independent Age, WCRF and Shelter to the consortium, all three have healthy legacy incomes and will be great additions to the programme.”

See more here.

What will the coming 5 years look like for legacy income? New Legacy Market Outlook report out now

We’re pleased to release our new report, Legacy Market Outlook 2018 to the sector today.

Drawing on findings from the recent Legacy Market Review produced for Legacy Monitor Consortium members, we share our insights and predictions for the British legacy market over the coming five years.

Two storylines are likely to dominate the sector in this period: rising deaths, now expected after decades of decline, and economic uncertainty, thanks to Brexit. These two critical trends will affect both the number and the value of legacies received by UK charities, to find out how, request Legacy Market Outlook 2018 here.

The Legacy Monitor programme has a wide range of members that ensures all sectors, ages and sizes of charity are well represented. From super-brands to rising stars, our 80-strong consortium covers over half of all UK legacy income.

However, there’s no time to rest on our laurels.  We’re now inviting new members to join next year’s programme (how time flies!). We are pleased to already announce three new members for 2019: Independent Age who offer regular friendly contact and a strong campaigning voice for the elderly, WCRF who champion the latest cancer research from around the world and Shelter that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing in England and Wales. All three charities have healthy legacy incomes and will be great additions to the programme.

Legacy Monitor members enjoy a wide range of benefits, including:  

  • Keeping up to speed with the very latest trends
  • Assessing their performance against the market
  • Informing fundraising strategies and budgets
  • Feeding into income forecasts and targets
  • Raising internal awareness of key market drivers
  • Shaping collaboration with other charities

If you would like to join the programme or know someone that should do, contact Richard Hill - r.hill@legacyforesight.co.uk

The latest Ross-CASE survey has recently been published, showing that the amount of philanthropic giving* to UK higher education institutes totalled £979 million for the year 2016/17. Compared to the remarkable year of 2015/16 where the £1 billion mark was surpassed this does represent a 12% fall but it is still the second highest total since the survey began back in 2000.

Growth in the number of donors has been strong, with a 7% increase to almost 250,000 donors of which 80% are alumni. This strong growth has evidently been helped by the institutions’ continued investment in fundraising. Last year fundraising investment and alumni investment increased by 11% and 8% respectively.

The trend for larger individual gifts has also continued. 62 institutions secured more than £1 million in total new funds in 2016/17 and 35 of these secured more than £5 million, compared to 30 last year. The Russell Group of 24 major research-intensive universities continues to dominate, with the average philanthropic giving to a university in this group reaching £32 million (£15 million if Oxbridge is excluded).

Total cash income** received increased by 6% this year to £886m. However, legacy income fell by the same rate following a number of years of sustained growth. Total legacy income reported in 2016/17 totalled £96m from 1,066 donors (a mean average of £1.3m per institution and a median of £245k – these two figures differ significantly due to legacies being heavily skewed to some large and prestigious organisations) and accounted for 10.8% of cash income, a slightly lower proportion compared to the 12.5% seen last year.

According to Charity Commission data for the top 1,000 legacy charities, Oxbridge colleges dominated the legacy sector within education and showed strong growth on the year. Thirteen Oxbridge colleges appeared in the top 1,000, between them generating an estimated £20 million legacy income for 2016/17.

These latest figures are certainly encouraging for the UK’s higher education institutes and the sector appears in good health. With continued investment in fundraising, the future for all types of philanthropic giving – including legacies - looks optimistic.

* Philanthropic giving refers to new funding secured by the institution, including new donations received and new confirmed pledges not yet received

** Total cash income includes all cash which arrives during the year  - eg. new single cash gifts or cash payments received against pledges secured in this or previous year. In 2016/17 51% of cash income came from organisations and 49% from individuals

In the year to 30th June 2018 our 83 Legacy Monitor members received £1.49bn in legacy income; that’s a like-for-like increase of 4.5% on the year to June 2017. Over the same period, total Consortium bequests topped out at 54,271; very slightly above the previous peak of 54,269 in the year to June 2017.

Legacy income has stalled somewhat in the last six months; although still up on a year to year basis, income actually fell by 1.25% between the year to December 2017 and the year to June 2018

The reasons for the slowdown in the annual growth and the falls in quarter-on-quarter income are a combination of lower bequest numbers at the end of last year and a more lacklustre economy over the first half of 2018.

For more on the latest Legacy Monitor results, download the Legacy Bulletin.