A first for Crisis as new legacy campaign launches on TV

March 28, 2024

Monday, 8 April marks an important date in the calendar for ILM member Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness. It’s when the charity’s first-ever legacy-specific TV advertising campaign will go live on television. Crisis’s Legacy Manager, George Shelley, tells us more about the thinking behind the campaign.

“People know us for our Crisis at Christmas campaigns when we are asking for a cash donation, but this is about increasing awareness to highlight the work we do all year round and asking for a gift in their will to support us,” said George.

“Legacy income accounts for about 5% of Crisis’s overall charity income. In the past, we haven’t had a great deal of funding from legacies, but we see it as a very stable form of income and it’s something the charity is looking to grow.”

The campaign, which includes some social media advertising as well as the TV advert, will run from early April through to the end of May and has been developed with Crisis’s partner agency for legacies, Flourish. Nearly two years in the planning, it will feature mainly during the daytime, but with some evening spots on free-to-view channels, including ITVBe and ITV3, Eden, Yesterday, Sky Arts and Dave.

The advert tells the story of one individual who experienced homelessness and, after accessing support from Crisis, was able to move into a home of his own and reach a “better place” in his life.

George continues: “The story is told by an actor and reflects on the person’s life, his childhood dreams and how he ended up being forced into homelessness. Broadly, the campaign is aimed at those aged 55 and over, although we appreciate that daytime spots are more likely to reach older retirees in their 70s and 80s.

“We know legacy giving is a long-term journey, people don’t update their will very often and it is usually triggered by a birth, marriage or retirement, something we have no control over.

“The good thing about a legacy ask however, is that it doesn’t cost anyone anything right now. By inspiring people with the impact Crisis has on lives and showing how they can make a difference, it is a way of planting a seed in their minds, so hopefully they will think about a legacy gift in the future.”

The advert will invite viewers to register for a free will guide booklet (either a print copy or available to download online) with details of how to leave a legacy.

While the longer-term success of the legacy campaign will be difficult to determine initially, George says the team will be able to track requests for the wills guide and monitor interest in the associated online campaign.

With plans to run the advert again in future years, he hopes it will be part of an ongoing awareness programme which will have a measurable impact on support for Crisis moving forward.

George is one of two legacy professionals working for Crisis and says this campaign has been a real team effort with excellent support from colleagues in the Marketing and Communications Team.

“I am in a lucky position where the senior management and the trustees are really behind legacies and they want to grow our legacy giving, which makes my job easier,” he concludes.

“We see this as a very exciting project. We have always been very supporter-led and this campaign is about inspiring the current generation of people to think about giving a gift in their will and helping them see the impact that Crisis has on the lives of those who are homeless.”


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