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A powerful legacy message

Gifts in Wills deliver a significant proportion of the annual fundraising income for YMCA.  Yet despite this, until very recently there has been little investment in this important stream of giving.

Recognising the value of legacy giving to the organisation, our brief was to work with the team to develop a legacy proposition and messaging that would provide the foundations  to the legacy programme and encourage both existing and brand new supporters to the organisation to consider leaving a gift in their Will.

Working with stakeholders and supporters

We started with an insight phase where we looked in detail at the existing legacy programme at YMCA, reviewed key competitors and how they were talking about legacy giving, and then conducted in depth interviews with both existing legacy pledgers and existing supporters who had been identified as legacy prospects. 

Armed with key insights about what motivated them to support now and what barriers they might perceive to including YMCA in their Wills, we developed a range of distinctive creative propositions. We took these to a working session with the team at YMCA to select the four strongest. These were then researched among panels of both existing and prospective YMCA supporters.

A full suite of work and a toolkit on how to use it

Our winning proposition – A Fair Start – shows supporters how their legacy gift will literally last a lifetime. By giving a young person of the future a fair start, they can give them the support they will need at a critically vulnerable time. Support that will help shape their entire life.

We brought the proposition to life creatively across a range of visually striking assets. A simple split visual device allowed us to show both the future transformation the supporter’s gift would make possible – and the direct link between the supporter and the young person of the future.   

The final assets include a prospecting pack, a full suite of digital ads and press ads, website architecture and design, a gifts in Wills guide and a fulfilment pack. We also created a toolkit to help guide YMCA fundraising teams across England and Wales to build and develop their own legacy marketing programmes.


The campaign was initially launched on social media and received a great response, driving a very high numbers of Will Guide downloads – 138% above the initial target.  

We are now working with YMCA to roll out the campaign to the wider YMCA network, initially through their retail shops in England and Wales.

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