PUBLIC SECT0R: Charities plan £2m PR push for legacy cash

The charity sector will launch a £2m PR campaign in a bid to increase the amount of money raised through legacies.

This is the first campaign of its kind and involves around 80 charities, including Oxfam, Macmillan Cancer Relief, the RNLI and the RSPCA.

A newly created group, called the Legacy Promotion Campaign, has been formed to handle the bid.

This is headed by campaign manager Theresa Dauncey, who will be assisted on PR and public affairs work by agency, The Forster Company. Direct marketing will be handled by Target Direct Marketing.

Forster director Amanda Powell-Smith says an integrated PR, advertising and marketing campaign will start in October and carry on until the end of 2003.

She added: 'Before then we will be talking to influencer groups, including solicitors, those involved in the financial sector and MPs, to raise more awareness.'

Legacies are already worth £1.5bn per year for the UK charity sector but Dauncey says there is scope for a massive increase on this figure as currently just one in ten wills contain a charitable bequest.

She said the aim of the campaign is to change the attitude of those making wills so that charitable requests becomes a normal part of legacies.

She said: 'The potential for this campaign to make a difference is enormous.

A two per cent increase in charitable bequests will generate an additional £180m per year for the voluntary sector.

Smaller charities such as the Brooke Hospital for Animals are also involved.

Powell-Smith added: 'This is across the charity sector and not just driven by the big names.'

The LPC is being backed by the Treasury-funded Giving Campaign.

The Forster Company is continuing to work on the Department of Health's long-term campaign, called Mind Out for Mental Health, to raise awareness of mental health issues.

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