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Gifts in wills can provide exactly the kind of funding you need and we want you to find out why…

Why your museum can’t afford NOT to love legacy fundraising

I can hear your board of trustees now. “How on earth can you even suggest spending time on something that is unlikely to provide a financial return for 5 years? Can’t you see we need money now?!”

It’s not an uncommon response. In situations like this, with huge pressures on income targets as a result of coronavirus, it is easy to only focus on things that will provide immediate results. However, that is exactly why your museum needs be thinking about legacy fundraising now.

Gifts in wills provide exactly the sort of funding organisations need at times of crisis, like the one currently facing the museum sector – sizeable, unrestricted gifts. (Did you know the average residuary legacy gift is worth over £46,000?)

Museums who actively seek gifts in wills have been able to use the gifts they have received to fund acquisitions, conservation work, exhibitions, capital projects, staff cost. And now, during coronavirus, legacies are helping those museums to survive.

But what about museums who haven’t previously thought about legacy fundraising?

There is a Chinese saying that seems very apt right now – “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”.

There are many reasons why museums need to be thinking about legacy fundraising right now. One key reason is that the value of legacy giving is increasing. In fact, it’s the fastest growing source of philanthropic income, with that growth predicted to keep going until 2050. Cultural organisations are particularly well placed to benefit from this growth, seeing higher rates of growth than other parts of the charity sector.

Setting up a legacy programme today might not help you solve the challenges you are currently facing. But by sowing the seeds today you can ensure your museum is better placed to respond to future challenges. And, as we rebuild our cultural sector on the other side of coronavirus, gifts in wills can enable your organisation to thrive and achieve your future ambitions.

Join us for a half-day of training to give you a better understanding of how to introduce legacy giving as one of the ways that people can support your museum’s work. Delivered via Zoom, the course will give you a solid introduction to the world of legacy fundraising and some practical (and affordable!) steps you can take to launch a legacy giving programme.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

• A better understanding of the different types of legacy people can leave, and the terminology you will need when talking to people about leaving a gift in their will

• Ideas on how to create a compelling legacy message for your museum

• Greater confidence to talk to potential supporters about the difference legacy gifts can make in an informed and sensitive way

• The skills to put in place a plan to support potential legacy supporters from initial enquiry through to receiving a legacy gift

• Suggestions on how to keep legacy supporters so that once you are written in the will you are not crossed out

Here’s what previous museum professionals said about “Learning to Love Legacies”:

The entire session was really useful. I’ve gone from zero knowledge to lots!A very well-rounded introduction to individual giving and legacies…the whole course was useful and will help us to set up a legacy campaign for our organisation.

A vital course for all fundraisers!

Trainer: David Burgess, Apollo Fundraising

Please login 5 minutes before start time

Duration: 3 hours with a short break

More details will be sent out once you have registered for the event.

Please note, tickets are for organisations located in the East of England* and registered within the Arts Council Accreditation Scheme. If your museum is not within these scheme and you wish to attend the training session, please email us first.


*Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire (Peterborough), Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk

If you have any further questions, you may find them answered on our FAQs page.  

Terms & Conditions:

For full details of our programmes conditions, see our Terms & Conditions on our website 

By booking a place on to SHARE Museums East Training Programme, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions:

  • That you are from an East of England museum which is in Arts Council England’s Museum Accreditation Scheme. Where this is not applicable you acknowledge that SHARE will facilitate your attendance if availability permits and that your organisation will pay any fees which may apply.
  • It is a condition of receiving this ACE funded training that the online evaluation sent to the email address provided at the point of booking is completed by the specified deadline. This deadline is in the email notification unless a paper evaluation is specifically requested and submitted on the day of the training session.
  • By booking a place you agree that you are booking as a representative of your organisation and should you cancel your booking without sufficient notice your organisation is responsible for paying the late cancellation fee of £50.
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