Gifts left in wills are of enormous value to charities. Legacy income is around £2.56 billion a year, and rising. Developments in the sector, though, have brought challenges and opportunities for legacy fundraisers. We have been working with the Institute of Legacy Management to help them ensure every donor’s final wish achieves its greatest potential.

Working closely with the ILM team, we developed a strategy to strengthen the organisation’s voice and communicate its expertise and influence, both to its members and the sector more broadly, while also promoting the importance of charity gifts and the vital role played by legacy professionals.

An ongoing programme of opinion pieces and best practice articles has brought ILM to target audiences, with regular coverage in key titles such as Third Sector and Guardian Voluntary Sector Network, as well as legal publications like Law Society Gazette and STEP Journal. Having built relationships with reporters, we then launched ILM’s Good Practice Guidance, a new framework to underpin the work of legacy professionals, securing widespread coverage and significant interest.

Reactive media relations has played a key role too, particularly around the ruling in the landmark legal case Ilott versus Mitson, and in response to Ministry of Justice proposals to increase probate fees and then subsequent backtracking. In both cases we worked closely with ILM to develop and issue statements to specialist and mainstream news media. Off the back of the statements, we set up interviews and secured slots for opinion pieces and blogs across a range of media. When suggestions emerged that the probate fee proposals could return, we helped ILM bring the issue back into the mainstream news agenda, with an exclusive letter to editor in The Times and coverage in the Daily Mail.

ILM has been repeatedly featured in charity and legal sector media, representing its members and championing legacy giving. Its position and voice are established, allowing its influence to continue to grow. More widely, coverage in mainstream media such as The Times, The Daily Mail and BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show have extended its reach even further.