Where there’s a will…

We recently held a memorial ceremony at Leuchie to mark the first anniversary of the death of Margaret, one of our guests.

A regular visitor over many years, Margaret had built lots of strong friendships with other guests, Leuchie staff and volunteers. Led by her husband Mike, the ceremony was a lovely occasion which gave us a chance to share our memories and celebrate the wonderful woman she was.

Since her death, Mike has been actively fundraising for Leuchie, both to show his appreciation of all the happy times Margaret spent with us, and to create a lasting reminder of his beloved wife. So far he’s raised over £6000 which will be used to restore Leuchie’s first floor lounge to the vibrant social space it used to be – a fitting tribute to such a sociable lady.

Our experiences with Mike have given us a positive new perspective on what can be a very sensitive aspect of charity fundraising - legacy and in-memory giving, an area we have only started to explore. While some charities are happy to promote through TV adverts, others shy away from this type of fundraising for fear of upsetting their supporters.

Because Leuchie is still a relatively young charity, and supporting more people with more long term conditions every year, it’s crucial we keep developing new sources of income.  Mike’s experience is a great example of what a positive difference this type of charitable donation can make.

Interestingly, recent research revealed that Scotland lags far behind the other UK nations when it comes to gifts in wills, with only 4% of all Scots leaving a legacy to a charity despite 40% saying they would be open to doing so. Surely a lesson to all of us working for Scottish charities.  Over-sensitivity may be preventing us from engaging with our supporters in this mutually-beneficial way, particularly now that most people are becoming more pragmatic about it.

As Mike has shown us, legacy and in-memory giving can help people remember their loved one in an uplifting and enduring way, as well as breathing new life into a charity and bringing hope to others.