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This article was first published 29 May, 2019

Legacies remain one of the last great opportunities in fundraising. Massively fewer of us give in death than we do in life, even though we often care passionately about the causes we support. Often this happens because folks either aren’t asked or are asked poorly.

So what are the basics of legacy fundraising?

First, drop the ‘L’ word. Legacies sound like something only wealthy people can do and bequests sound like something only royalty can do. Offering donors the opportunity to leave a ‘gift in their will’ is infinitely smarter. All of us can do that, and one of the big reasons people don’t leave more gifts of this nature is that they don’t believe their gift will make a difference. So language of this type reassures people and, if we also celebrate small gifts alongside the large in our newsletters and online, then this remaining barrier can be overcome.

Solicitations should also reflect the mindset of…
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