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To know and maintain its place in an ever more competitive market, what does the charity need to do? Forecasting and data are essential at proving the need for a gifts in Wills offer and also to help track trends and patterns across the sector, to allow teams to plan and prepare for the ever changing road map ahead. As a subscriber to Legacy Foresight’s forecasting services, Europe’s largest conservation charity The National Trust needed our help.


Legacy Foresight provide medium-term forecasts for the National Trust. The forecasting scenarios are based on models developed and refined over the past two decades.

Every year we produce forecasts for the National Trust’s income from gifts in Wills and the numbers of bequests for the next ten financial years, assessing trends and drivers in their performance and the external environment.

The National Trust use our medium-term forecasts to underpin their fundraising strategy and plan to Trustees. The forecasts are also used by the Legacy Development team to educate colleagues across the charity about the vital role gifts in Wills play and to make a case for more investment in marketing.


Although the National Trust is one of Britain’s largest legacy charities, gifts in Wills have long been a relatively small part of the total income mix, with membership income being the largest contributor to income. However, as recent events have shown, income from gifts in Wills is a vital bedrock to the Trust’s operation, providing consistency and resilience at a time when other sources of income are under threat.  Our work has helped to show that continued growth cannot be taken for granted. To maintain its place in an ever more competitive market, the National Trust needs to invest more money and commit whole-heartedly to create a gifts in Wills culture throughout the organisation.

We get such a rich level of detail from our annual forecasts, and they are invaluable to help us support our long-term plans and to give trust and confidence in our projections to senior colleagues and the Board. Gifts in Wills support a huge range of conservation projects and the ability to see our real-time trends and see how others are performing in the benchmarking gives us a fascinating insight into this vital income stream. Helen Hoare Head of Legacy Administration National Trust