In 2016 Legacy Foresight and Arts Quarter LLP teamed up to research legacy fundraising in the UK arts community, building on previous surveys in 2010 and 2012.

We looked to explore current levels of investment in legacy fundraising – both human and financial – and went on to examine just how high a priority legacy fundraising is seen to be. We gained responses from over 100 organisations, ranging from prestigious international venues to much-loved community arts bodies.

“When it comes to the arts, legacy giving – and fundraising – still tends to be concentrated into the hands of a few large, well-known organisations”

What we have learned

  • Despite the potential, arts organisations are still punching well below their weight in legacy income
  • Just 38% of the organisations we surveyed received any gifts in wills over the last three years. Of this 38%, 70% earned less than £25,000 p.a. in legacy income
  • Legacy promotion is hampered by lack of capacity. Just one of the 116 organisations surveyed had a full-time team member dedicated to legacy activities, while 48% had no discrete staff allocated. One respondent commented that they had access to “one day every two months” … another  “about 10 minutes a year”!
  • However, many arts organisations recognised legacy fundraising as a strategic priority for the future, with over a third of the organisations surveyed stating that it would play a key part of their work in the next five years. In additional feedback, several organisations said they were currently developing legacy fundraising strategies, often linked to major/individual giving activity.
  • We are pleased to see the changes in activities and attitudes, because we believe - at a time when other income streams may be vulnerable - there is great potential for arts organisations in the legacy market.
  • Arts organisations have the advantage of knowing the majority of the people who leave them legacies, which means they can engage potential legators in positive messages about the difference gifts in wills could make.

Want to know more?

To request a copy of the latest Arts and Legacies report click here