2020 has been a year of ups and many downs, with the pandemic affecting us personally, professionally, impacting the causes we work for, and the sector as a whole.

Here, we share ten hopes for the new year, spanning legacies, in-memory giving, the sector as a whole and us as individuals too.

New gifts in wills are made – Meg Abdy, Development Director, Legacy Foresight

I hope that the awful pandemic year will inspire many new gifts in wills. Maybe not immediately … probably not paying out in the short-term. But we all know from listening to charity supporters how important one personal experience of exceptional kindness, bravery or selflessness can be in triggering a legacy. This motivation seems to be heightened in times of crisis. There have been so many instances of kindness, bravery and selflessness out there in the pandemic, whether from charities or individuals. I’m sure they will leave their mark.

The predicted spike in bequests is realised – Jon Franklin, Economist, Legacy Foresight

My hope for 2021 is that HM Courts & Tribunals Service manage to clear their administrative backlogs at probate. This would be expected to provide around an additional 27,000 bequests to the sector, estimated to be worth around £750m worth of vital legacy income at a time when charities need it most.

We meet again in person! – Claire Routley, Head of Consultancy, Legacy Voice

Lockdown helped me to realise what a brilliant, supportive community we’re part of, and online meetings have been a great way of keeping in touch and working efficiently. However, it’s not quite the same as a good face-to-face chat so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in person.

All charities have a dedicated in-memory resource – Kate Jenkinson, Head of Consultancy, Legacy Foresight

2020 has brought grief into our national psyche. My wish for 2021 is that all charities have an in-memory resource that befits this – and that all our loved ones can be remembered as heroes.

Charities inspire donors to get more involved – Arjen van Ketel, Programme Director, Legacy Monitor Netherlands

My hope is that in 2021 more charities will find ways to involve older donors in their work. Let them volunteer, help, influence, advise and fundraise for their favourite organisation. Our research shows that personal involvement is a very positive factor in including a charity in your will, especially for boomers. What a splendid boost this would be for the future work of charities!

I also hope that we develop our international cooperation to the next level, despite Brexit borders and Coronavirus measures. Let’s overcome the negativity and keep on meeting each other!

We see more collaboration than ever before – Ashley Rowthorn, CEO, Legacy Fundraising Group

Looking at 2021, If the backlogs at probate are cleared, we’re likely to see demands on legacy administration teams peak at record levels. This income is not a ‘given’; charities need to think about how they can respond to increased demand on resource at quite short notice, to secure these vital funds.

The impact of the pandemic is likely to be felt for several years to come, but legacies have been a ray of hope for the sector throughout, providing a real lifeline of secure unrestricted income for so many charities, helping them to keep afloat and deliver essential services. For me, there has never been a more exciting time to work in this uniquely collaborative sector, helping to raise huge sums of money for good causes worldwide.

Many more causes benefit from gifts in wills – Rob Cope, Director, Remember a Charity

Ever the optimist, I have high hopes for 2021! This year has shown that legacy giving is more important than ever for the future health and resilience of charities. I hope that 2021 sees a wide range of good causes benefit from the predicted spike in legacy gifts, helping to sustain charities’ vital work.

And, while we’ve all gained fascinating insights into each other’s lives (and décor) on Zoom, I hope our team and members will be in the same room once more, with or without a Womble!

More vital training is accessed – Matthew Lagden, CEO, Institute of Legacy Management

We hope that 2021 is a better year for our members, following a year of so much uncertainty and difficulty for everyone. The madness of 2020 has forced ILM to adapt as an organisation by offering training and webinars online, as well as offering much more support to our members in general. This has been really positive for the charities we work with, and we’ll continue offering these new services for our members into the future.

Charities will find the support they need – Amanda Poole, Charity Trustee and Legacy Foresight Advisor

With the heavy impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on the economy, many boards of trustees are having to look again at their funding sources, whether from grants, legacies or donations. I sit on two boards – each in very different positions – and both are having to think carefully about how their donors are impacted and the implications for their future funding profile. I hope that the newfound sense of community and goodwill towards our vital services will overflow into charitable giving in general and that those charities now in difficulties will find support. Let 2021 be a year of generous giving!

We learn from the hard lessons of the past year – Karl Weaver, Investor and Legacy Foresight Advisor

The pandemic has emphasised the need for a strong culture coupled with an ability to change. In many ways, things are the same, but now louder and more important.  Successful businesses have always known how to change to gain advantage whilst remaining true to their culture. The pandemic has made it clear how quickly you can get knocked off balance if you don’t get this right.

Every year Legacy Foresight makes a Christmas donation to two charities, selected by our newest team members. This year our chosen causes are Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Thank you to all of our charity clients, friends and colleagues for your dedication and hard work, this year above all others. We wish you a well-deserved break, coming back with renewed energies – and hopes – for 2021.

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