Keep calm and carry on!

Anne Brown
Written by: Anne Brown, Head of Major Gifts and Legacies

I had a full schedule of major donor events, meetings and face to face activities planned to make sure we bring in the money needed to pay for the care that local people desperately need as demand for our services increases. So it was quite a shock when in one fell swoop, all that disappeared and I found myself working from home. Being a fundraiser for the hospice is a huge responsibility" our frontline staff are wonderful, hardworking and dedicated, but without the money needed to run all our services, there just wouldn't be a hospice. So much of that money comes from the local public through fundraising in many different ways, at first I wondered how we would manage.

But one characteristic of just about every fundraiser I know is that we are versatile, and we soon found new, often virtual, ways to connect with the local people who support us and care about what happens to people with end of life care needs at the hospice. I started hand writing letters to people, both asking and thanking for donations - something I normally wouldn't have time to do" and found that people definitely appreciate the personal touch, so this is something I'll definitely take forward when (if!) we get back to normal.

I have also been working on a legacy campaign for the last few months. Gifts in Wills are a wonderful way to leave your mark on the hospice after your lifetime. Over the years many people have remembered us in their Will, with gifts from £500 to well over £1 million. I love to find out the stories behind these wonderful gifts, and often learn that a loved one was cared for by Saint Francis Hospice. We've put a few of these stories on our website, They're a joy to read.

You may see one of our Gifts in Wills posters in your area, at a bus stop or on a billboard. We want everyone to know how much we need their support, and how grateful we are for every gift that is given. One in five patients receive our experienced care because of these gifts. You might also receive our campaign pack in the post, asking if you would consider even a small gift in your Will to help others in the future. It's a wonderful way to remember your loved ones, and to be remembered yourself" as someone who cares for others and helps people to have dedicated care, with their loved ones around them, right to the end.

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