Creating a Legacy Proposal

Published: 8th November 2018

As soon as the relationship with a legacy pledger becomes 1:1 (gets assigned to a Development Officer, etc), a proposal will be created to manage the relationship with the potential legator. This is the process you need to follow. Details of how to manage the Proposal are later in the guide.


In Raiser’s Edge, open the constituent record and click on the Prospect tab, click on Proposal then click New Proposal. Populate the proposal with the following details:


Name = Legacy – XXXX (follow the MG naming convention)

Priority = TBC (unless known)

Campaign = Legacy (this is most important)

Canvasser = whoever is managing the relationship.

Target date = a date by which you think the legacy pledge will be secured (ie, when you think the donor will confirm they have included us in their Will. This can be many years in the future and is NOT an estimated date of death)

Status = Cultivation (while you foster the relationship)

Status Date = Today’s date or the date you started the relationship


Managing the Proposal


Just as for lifetime major gifts, Actions can be logged against a Proposal to track your contact history. Most likely the first action will be the sending of the legacy brochure – this action will be used as the basis for the 6-8 week reminder for you to follow up if appropriate. You should use the recording of Actions to log any activity/meetings/correspondence that occurs during the management of the relationship.


As the Proposal moves through the cultivation cycle, the Proposal Status can be changed (for example, to Asked) in the usual way. When you change the Proposal Status, always be sure to change the Status Date at the same time. The sending of the Legacy brochure should be logged against this proposal.


Successful Legacy Proposal


Once you know that the legacy has been successful (i.e. a pledge has been confirmed or they have informed you that The University of Manchester has been included in their will) you should change the Proposal Status to Stewardship and change the Status Date to the date stewardship starts. Any stewardship Actions can still, of course, be added to this Proposal. You should change the Response field to Accepted original proposal.


The Legacy gift can now be added to RE – please let Andy Bradshaw know and he will put the gift on the legator’s record.


Unsuccessful Legacy Proposal


If, after going through all the process of managing the Proposal, the prospect has declined to commit to leaving a legacy then the Proposal needs to be closed.  To do this you need to change the Proposal Status to Closed and update the Status Date to reflect the date the Proposal is being closed. In the Response field the appropriate reason for the decline should be selected. The final task is to put a tick in the Proposal is inactive box.


If a proposal is in a status of asked and the prospect is not revealing if they are leaving a legacy or it has been in that status for more than 3 years then the proposal can be closed with a response of No Response. Do not create a legacy gift in this instance. A report will be created to show the numbers of these proposals.


Rob Summers, September 2018