Smee & Ford

Corporate Partner

Key contact

Polly Avgherinos, Managing Director

Polly has over 20 years of experience in managing information and data businesses across the legal, professional, charity and commercial sectors. At Smee & Ford, Polly is focussed on making sure that our legacy information services continue to evolve, enabling charities to make informed decisions and achieve their goals.


About Smee & Ford

Smee & Ford is the UK’s leading provider of trusted legacy giving information.

Our mission is to help charities to understand and grow their legacy income, which we have been doing for over 125 years. We support the whole legacy function, from fundraising strategy to notification and administration support once a charity is named in a Will.

Smee & Ford helps charities through:

  • Three legacy notification services – known as Named, Discretionary and Charitable Trust services
  • Bespoke data services – helping you to take the guesswork out of your fundraising strategy
  • A Legacy Analysis Portal for all customers – a place to dive into your data with easy-to-use dashboards and analytical tools
  • Smee & Ford annual Legacy Trends reports
  • Tailored legacy events, webinars, and awards (coming in 2023!)

Legacy administration

We are the only service in the UK that provides charities with timely information on specific legacies left to them, or notification of money left in wills or trusts for unspecified charitable purposes. Our dedicated and highly skilled team of reporters read over 5,000 wills every week to ensure that our clients benefit from the most up-to-date information.

The Smee & Ford legacy notification service provides legacy administrators with:

  • Timely and accurate information on forthcoming legacies
  • Notification of named legacies within weeks of probate
  • Advanced notification of discretionary legacies
  • Information on any new charitable trusts or additional funding

Learn more about our three different notifications services here.

We also host an annual event specifically for legacy administrators – Excellence in Legacy Administration – held every December. Learn more here.

Legacy fundraising and strategy

At Smee & Ford, we work with charities across the whole spectrum of legacies and know that every organisation has its own challenges. We’ve found that some of the most common ones include:

  • Building a case for additional investment to grow legacy programmes
  • Updating strategies using incomplete and inconsistent internal data
  • Comparing performance against peer charities, with limited or no access to detailed sector data
  • Working in small teams with increasing responsibility, leaving less time for detailed data analysis
  • Operating in a growing and highly competitive fundraising stream

How can data help?

Using legacy market data ensures you don’t base your fundraising strategy on assumptions or guesswork. It can help you forecast your potential future legacy income, identify opportunities to guide your legacy marketing strategy, and serves as solid evidence to back up your bids for investment.

Smee & Ford has the most comprehensive bank of information available on gifts in Wills in the UK, now going back to 2012. Depending on your most pressing challenges, we can work in partnership with you to recommend the research that will be most useful. This could include:

  • Causal area benchmarking
  • Geo-mapping opportunities
  • Identifying bedfellows/co-beneficiaries
  • Income benchmarking
  • Historical performance comparisons

Our flagship event for legacy fundraisers, the Legacy Strategy Summit, takes place every year in June. The event combines the best speakers from a diverse selection of organisations giving expert advice, solutions, and inspiration. Learn more here.