It’s a positive way of channeling our emotions and passions – it provides us with a wonderful way to leave a mark on the world that reflects our values and the things we care about deeply.
I’ll never forget the day my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tears, the anxiety, the sheer devastation, and worry about what the future held. There was no magic wand or crystal ball, and we suddenly felt vulnerable and helpless. However, I was also incredibly angry. Angry that my mum had this terrible thing inside her body, angry that I couldn’t do anything about it, angry that she might not see her grandchildren grow up, and angry that there was no cure.
But, as the days and weeks passed, and with the incredible support and care from the local hospital team, my mum battled through, and I’m delighted to say, is in good health today. As a family, we were lucky, but I have never taken this for granted and swore I would do all I could to help others in some way.
When I wrote my Will and the prompt came about including a charitable gift, I could feel all the emotion I experienced during my mum’s cancer battle rise to the surface. I was reliving the journey in my mind and thinking about my mum when I made my choices. Legacy giving is personal – it’s about connections with people and charities, and it’s what we feel passionate (and sometimes angry) about. We want to effect change and feel empowered that we can do something to make a difference.
Research has shown there is a strong link between life narratives and legacy giving. This was brought home to me when I thought about my Will and the causes I would support. Our life stories are made up of our experiences, relationships, beliefs and values, which are continually being shaped and edited. Legacy giving encompasses all these things. A legacy becomes an important part of a person’s narrative – it becomes their life-story ending.
Everyone has their own life story and journey. People support an incredible array of charities for a whole host of reasons which are personal to them. What charities need to do, is find a way to connect with their supporters, harness their passion and showcase the impact of their work so that when people consider leaving a gift in their Will, they will be front of mind.
Legacy giving allows people to make larger gifts than they might otherwise be able to do in their lifetime. They can have a bigger impact on the things we care about deeply. And as we all know, it costs nothing in our lifetime. I feel very strongly that legacy giving is good for people – it should not be a taboo subject. We need to show how incredible legacy giving is because we all can make a significant difference in the things that matter to us.
I'm sure it’s clear by now that I have a real passion for legacy giving which is why I’m delighted to have joined Legacy Voice as a Legacy and In Memory Consultant. I’m excited to use my experience, and work with an amazing team, to bring legacies to the forefront and support others in the sector who are keen to drive legacy giving forward.