Willing to remember us…?

Did you know it’s Remember a Charity in your Will Week – In the first of two blogs Development Manager Eve Smith reflects on lifetime charitable giving…

Eve and Patron Guests at the launch of War Horse

Eve and Patron Guests at the launch of War Horse

When was the last time you gave money to charity? Was it to sponsor a friend, £1 in a collection tin, at a fundraising event or through a membership or subscription? With so many charities doing amazing work in the UK and abroad it’s relatively easy to support the causes that mean the most to us. Even in straitened times, people still seem to see the importance of giving with 74% of UK citizens regularly supporting charities during their lifetime. Not a bad statistic I’d say and if you’re one of those people then give yourself a pat on the back!

It gets interesting when you start to look at how many people continue on the road of giving by leaving a charitable gift as part of their will – the impressive statistic above drops to just 7%. It’s a dramatic reduction and an indicator that legacy giving isn’t high in our thoughts when we come to prepare a will.

Remember a Charity set out 13 years ago with the aim of ‘increasing the sector’s capacity to do good by making gifts in Wills the social norm’. Currently around £2 billion is generated through legacy giving every year – from just 7% of the population. However, there still remains a huge ‘untapped’ potential which could do wonders for all the charities we lovingly give to during our lives.

This week is ‘Remember a Charity in your Will Week’ an annual awareness campaign to encourage individuals to consider whether they might one day include a charity in their Will. Take a look at their online film – perhaps you might ‘Take a Moment’ to think…

The Hippodrome has benefitted from legacies in the past and welcomes all donations made in this way. For more information visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com/individualsupport

Playing your part at your local theatre…

Eve Smith, Individual Giving Manager, writes…

Eve (far left) and her Patron Guests at the launch of War Horse

Eve (far left) and her Patron Guests at the launch of War Horse

Part of my role at the Hippodrome is to encourage individuals to support the theatre (registered charity no. 511567) through either one off donations or by joining our Patrons scheme.   Since joining a few months ago a lot of my time has been spent comparing what we do with the various different offerings other arts and cultural organisations have for their individual donors.

My research, benchmarking and personal feedback from existing and potential supporters has lead to the introduction of a revitalised and attractive package for enthusiastic theatre goers.  Our Patrons scheme offers ticket discounts, a VIP experience at the theatre plus exclusive invitations to show launches, education projects and special dinners – there’s plenty to benefit from!

But there’s also something in it for us too…supporting the theatre in this way helps to contribute to the continued development of one of the UK’s most loved theatre.  Following the successful completion of our £1m Stage Appeal in 2012, fundraising is now focussed on supporting our Education and Access programme and the extraordinary work that takes place in our community – work that without support from private investors like our Patrons, simply could not happen.

 Did you know…?

…in 2012 over 5,000 young people took part in creative projects

…in 2012 over 180 visually impaired people attended a behind the scenes touch tour here

…over 15,000 visits were made to the theatre by school children

…and 42 assisted performances took place for visually and hearing impaired audiences

If you’re interested in supporting our education and access work by joining up as a Patron or want to find more out about the special benefits associated with the scheme then simply follow this link or call or email me in our Development team on 0121 689 3067 / evesmith@birminghamhippodrome.com – I will be very happy to help.