Legacy Fundraising Online: Compliance with the Fundraising Regulator

Following the Olive Cooke tragedy the Fundraising Regulator for the UK was created.  The Fundraising Regulator provides help and guidance on a number of topics including legacy fundraising.  The makeawillonline.co.uk legacy fundraising platform has been built to comply with these guidelines as well as to comply with the Society of Will Writers requirements for you and your donors’ peace of mind. 

The Fundraising Regulator has identified potential issues around undue influence when providing legacy gifts.  We have taken these into consideration in the design of our service and our website and we would urge you to familiarise yourselves with them too. 

The Fundraising Regulator has issued helpful guidance on the ethics of legacy fundraising here.  The benefiting charity will need to consider its campaign carefully to ensure compliance with 18.1-18.2 of the guidance. The service designed by Digilegal will ensure that the difficult legal and ethical points at 18.3.1 and 18.3.2 are satisfied.

18.3.3 relates to the preparation of the will document.  As the Digilegal service is delivered remotely in the home/ office of the donor there is no opportunity for pressure or undue influence during the will making process.  The only mention of the charity has been limited to a suggested donation box and a suggested beneficiary of last resort option. Either or both of these can be ignored if the supporter wishes. 

18.3.4 relates to the relationship between the will writer and the donor. As Digilegal is a separate and wholly independent organisation, compliance can be assured in this respect also.   

Finally, 18.3.5 deals with charities paying for wills.  As mentioned above, there is no obligation on the supporter to leave a donation to the charity and, as the supporter will be on their own in the safety of their own home there is very limited opportunity for undue influence to be exerted.  This would be wholly within the control of the charity and their fundraising activities. 

The Charity Commission also issues guidance on charities paying for wills here.  It recommends that no-one connected with the charity helps prepare the wills.  Using our service the supporter will be on their own using the Digilegal service.

More info:

https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/18-0-legacies/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wills-and-charitable-legacies

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