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This has to be my favourite. The brochure was produced after focus groups identified two different audiences: young campaigning donors who wanted to see and hear about horror animal stories whilst the older generations wanted positive images of the outcomes of Peta campaigns. One way to satisfy both young and old generations was to combine the horror stories and the joyful stories through a daring campaign of horror and humour.



“Anthropomorphising” the animals through human speech for the humour – which was regarded by some as unacceptable – was such fun.

Sadly, for reasons now too late to analyse, this daring approach was short lived. I believe there was one complaint but in a way I wish there had been more. Complaints are GOOD – they prove passion. Passion is a mix of anger and love, and complaints indicate prospects care enough to complain.
One other point: humour is good. Humour is a smile and a legacy is a joyful gift with no immediate cost. So please can we have more!


Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Wills are boring, easy to put off to another day, involve lots of decision making (oh what shall I
do ….) perceived as costly and just not a day to day priority.
When you begin thinking about doing a Will, or a new Will, you lose the will to live. So you do not do it.
But this example is brilliant because it has a light hearted approach to a serious subject, When I last visited the Dogs Trust website this “Legal Beagle” page had vanished which is a real shame. The thought of a dog giving me simple advice was deeply appealing – which is slightly different to a typical solicitor who, with respect, can be really boring!




This brochure is not iconoclastic, nor is it radical nor humorous. But it is incredibly simple and the cost modest.
There are lessons to learn from this brochure:

  • It says a lot in few pages
  • It makes action very easy through a codicil form – i.e. there is no need to contact the charity you contact your professional adviser with action taken in minutes
  • The vision is short and sharp and merges nicely with the charity’s vision
  • Contact with the legacy representative is easy and personal

Nothing could be simpler.


CF Trust

CF Trust

This brochure was developed with a unique objective – it is aimed at internal audiences- CF families which is brilliantly focused. What is special?
Two things hit me:

    • The case for support, or legacy vision, is expressed by the CEO – which is rarely wanted – but Rosie Barnes was loved (she has retired not died!) by every CF family. She was the one credible, inspirational voice and face of cystic fibrosis wanted by all internal audiences.
    • There is a fund set up in honour of Rosie which is going to live on and this encourages a sense of legacies NOT ending up in a great big black hole.

The brochure is quite wordy and paragraphs are longer than they should be which might reduce the impact of the message, but Rosie’s message is so heart led and therefore will be read by CF families.




This iconic campaign started almost 20 years ago by Greenpeace Australia is fascinating for one reason: it has become incredibly well known but it seems to have failed – but perhaps this will prove not to be the case in another 10 years when the original supporters of Rainbow Warrior (the first sailing was in 1978) have died and leave a legacy. Why did it possibly fail? I think it is a “ha ha plonk” concept. In other words everyone smiled but then did nothing. In other words it features a feature (a whale) but, unlike the Peta campaign, there is no tangible outcome from a legacy.

Credibility is also lacking: most people (I would hate to assume everyone!) know they are NOT going to come back as a whale.


Tinnitus Newsletter


I love this piece but I fully admit it was my fault. Helen attended one of my courses and when we were talking about Wills her personal situation was clearly one which merited a Will and she did not have one. And yes I called her an idiot for not having a Will and then told her to be honest about it in communications. For once a fundraiser had the guts to be honest and say so!

How many read this and smiled and thought “I was like Helen“. The trouble is that we will never know because people do not WANT to contact the charity about a legacy. But such an approach will sit quietly in the back of the mind of prospects and they will remember who to contact.


Hospice Cartoons


Cartoons are great – they are quoted daily on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 and feature in all the national media. Why? Because they give a “view with a smile” to which we relate. Once upon a time when I chaired Smee & Ford we produced a much loved newsletter called “Codicil” and there was a regular, and outrageous, page of cartoons reflecting the stories of the latest appalling, funny, Wills and legacies. This page was read and remembered more than any of the articles. Why? Because cartoons tell a strong story in a matter of seconds.
These cartoons are focused on solicitors – who many people like to ridicule. But there is a more important reason for focusing the cartoons on Wills rather than legacies:

  • We take action to have a Will NOT because a charity has asked for a legacy, but because we need a Will for personal (ie selfish) reasons.

These cartoons help trigger action and the need for legacies can then be mentioned in the main body of the newsletter.
And let’s not forget that these smile producing cartoons are in a hospice newsletter which reflects the positive nature of the work of a hospice such as St Nicholas.


Legacy Bookmarks

We developed the bookmarks as a regional legacy promotional tool. We recognised the Regional Fundraising Team as being pivotal to ensuring that we target those supporters that have strong links to regional activities such as events, Hft Services and Friends Groups.

We wanted to produce materials which helped them to promote gifts in Wills, highlight the need for this income whilst maintaining a regional feel. One side of the bookmark has a national approach featuring a legacy message and contact details. The other side has a regional focus with a call to action for more information about regional activities, volunteering etc.

Objectives Bookmarks:

  • To raise awareness of gifts in Wills to encourage a call to action & contact Katie for further information
  • The focus of the bookmark is to be on the case for support regionally and nationally, not the mechanics of leaving a legacy. We want people to clearly see the need for legacy income and the benefits of leaving it for unrestricted purposes
  •  To encourage the supporter to retain the bookmark or share with family /friends



Legacy Coasters

We wanted to continue to develop legacy marketing through existing channels using new products to highlight the importance of this form of donating to staff, donors, supporters, volunteers and groups. It was decided that the best mechanism for doing this would be coasters which carry one legacy message and contact details.

Objectives Coasters:

  • To reinforce and refresh legacy messaging
  • To encourage call to action or details of contact person which can be passed on to enquiries
  • To encourage retention of the coaster or share with family, friends and colleagues