Changing charitable behaviour drives crisis to appoint first legacy agency partner

Crisis, the national homelessness charity has appointed creative CRM agency Flourish as their first legacy-specific agency partner.

The initial brief was sent out to a hot list of agencies with tried and tested legacy experience. The decision to appoint an agency followed a strategic decision at Crisis to unlock the untapped potential of legacy gifts and help grow its fundraising income.

Legacy giving has bucked the downward trend in charitable giving in recent years. Many charities report that legacies now account for a third of their income, with as many as one in ten saying that they rely on these gifts for as much as 50% of their income.

The charity sector has widely reported that the pandemic has severely affected charitable giving and there is of course much uncertainty ahead. It’s never been more important for charities to adapt, and offer supporters different ways of donating. Flourish, who have worked with some of the biggest charities in the UK including PDSA, NSPCC, RNIB, Save the Children and MSF, will be working with Crisis to help inspire their supporters to consider this special way of giving, through gifts in Wills. 

Keith Nichol, Planning Director at Flourish said: “Legacy has continued to grow in popularity as a way to support charities. From a relatively niche method in the 1990s income from legacies has more than quadrupled from £4.9 billion a year to over £17 billion. And every indication is that the increase will continue.”

The rise in legacy donations is due in part to increased awareness because of the efforts of charities’ legacy marketing. But it doesn’t fully explain it. For that we need to look at the changing profile of people leaving legacies.

The Silent Generation (born between 1925-1945) is slowly giving way to Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 – 1964). This is the wealthiest generation that the UK has ever seen. They’ve benefitted from rocketing house prices, generous pension schemes and the privatisation of state run industries. In short, this generation are asset rich

Izzy Cole, Account Director at Flourish said: “At the heart of our pitch to Crisis was an acknowledgement of the importance of the Baby Boomer generation in any legacy marketing going forward. We presented an understanding of this audience’s values, beliefs and motivations and how these would impact their decision to choose Crisis for a gift in their Will.”

It was an effective approach and the team at Crisis felt it showed the potential for an exciting partnership, to develop innovative  legacy marketing. George Shelley, Legacy Executive at Crisis said: “We were very impressed with Flourish’s overall approach, knowledge of the sector, creativity and we felt we could work well together. I’m looking forward to developing campaigns that inspire our supporters with this way of giving.”

Flourish’s first work for Crisis is underway and the first campaigns will go live in the New Year.