Meet A Member – Donna Barclay, Head of Legacy Income at RSPCA

September 27, 2018

The work our members do is of vital importance to the many good causes their organisation’s support. And we want to shout about them! We spoke to Donna Barclay, Head of Legacy Income at RSPCA, to find out more about her role and the work she does…

What attracted you to the RSPCA?
I am an animal lover with a passion for legacy giving, so it was my ideal job. Working for the largest animal charity in terms of legacy income (third largest overall) was a great opportunity to further my career and really make a difference. I joined as a Legacy Administration Manager in March 2015 and was appointed as Head of Legacy Income in April 2018. Legacy income amounts to over 50% of the RSPCA’s voluntary income and it is an honour to be part of such an important team.

What background do RSPCA Legacy Officers need to be successful?
I think with the right attitude and support combined with passion for the cause, a legacy officer can be a huge success in an organisation. The RSPCA has legacy officers from a variety of backgrounds with some experienced Solicitors who have come from private practice and others that have developed at the RSPCA or elsewhere. The wealth of knowledge the team has means we are well equipped to train people internally.

What is your vision for the team?
I want to create a happy and motivated sector leading team of experts optimising  income for the RSPCA now and into the future.

How do the team work?
The team receive about 2,700 notifications and manage circa £65m each year. We also manage legacy gifts for most of the RSPCA’s branches, which are separately registered charities. We have just gone live with First Class 4 which is a very exciting (and a long overdue!) upgrade. We are hoping this will modernise the way we work and make us even more efficient. We have also recently moved from Fundraising into Finance and the teams have settled in really well together.  We have built great relationships with our colleagues in Legacy Marketing and know that this collaboration will continue to grow.

Tell us about some interesting legacy gifts
The RSPCA has benefited from a variety of estates with farms, classic cars and royalties from a music producer. We even received a donkey sanctuary from one supporter which still exists today.

What is it like to work at the RSPCA?
It’s lovely! Our purpose built office in sunny Horsham has lots of space for staff and their pet dogs. We have plenty of free parking, a subsidised restaurant and a beautiful garden with a pond! Horsham has great connections and the train takes less than an hour into London. Even though we have a lovely office environment we are also open to people working from home for some of the week.

If you’re an ILM member and proud of the work your legacy team is doing, then we want to hear from you! Drop Sonya a line at and you could be reading your story on our website! 

By Sonya Dallat


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