Why gifts in wills are important to AMSR

…and how to leave one

Every year the AMSR must raise enough money to cover its operating costs. For this, we rely on the generosity of our many wonderful donors.

However, as a volunteer-driven organisation, the truly transformative work we hope to do can’t happen without resources that we can rely upon over and above our regular donations.

Work such as bringing our archive to new audiences, improving the Archive user experience, seeking out and preserving ever-more fascinating material that would otherwise be lost forever… these are all extremely challenging to plan and budget for.

If you are thinking of supporting the work of the AMSR by making a donation, a gift in a will can be a great way to do it. It provides a known income stream for the Archive – revenue we can count on over a period of time. This is truly helpful to us, and the amounts really don’t have to be huge to have a vital impact.

What’s involved in leaving a gift?

Leaving a gift in your will does not involve any immediate financial outlay on your part, but it will provide the AMSR with a long-term benefit. Your gift will be a meaningful way to support the AMSR, allowing us to develop long-term initiatives to improve our archive and promote it more effectively. For example, the bequest left by former Trustee Judie Lannon has already enabled us to make significant plans for the future (see the case study panel, right).

Tax efficient giving
Leaving a gift can be very tax-efficient as gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax. So as well as being a very special and thoughtful way of supporting the AMSR, there is a potential advantage to you and your beneficiaries. You can define how you want to remember the AMSR in your will in different ways, and we would advise that you discuss your plans with a solicitor before finalising or changing your arrangements.

Contact the AMSR
We also suggest you contact us at the AMSR before making any final decisions, as we can also provide useful information. Of course, if you’re a step ahead of us and have already provided for a gift to AMSR in your will, and for which we sincerely thank you, please don’t forget to let us know!

Case study: Judie Lannon

Judie Lannon was a creative doyenne in advertising planning and market research and an enthusiastic and influential volunteer for the Archive of Market and Social Research.

Her influence on the development of planning in advertising agencies cannot be overestimated. John Griffiths wrote in the recent AMSR Book Post-war Developments in Market Research, “In the late 1960s, in the biggest advertising agency of the day, J Walter Thompson, the late Judie Lannon embarked upon an experiment to change the way research was done inside the agency.  Planning brought research into the heart of the creative and media process. Judie Lannon played a unique role at this time of change.”

Writing in our August 2021 newsletter, Phyllis Macfarlane described how some of the generous gift left by Judie Lannon has already been used to focus on new and exciting directions for the Archive. While the content gathered for the Archive over its first five years has primarily consisted of older paper material – arguably in the greatest danger of being lost, Judie’s legacy has been to enable us to turn our focus to potential users of the Archive and to issues of our future sustainability.

We asked ourselves what we actually might wish to collect from recent (digital) years – in other words, from 1990 onwards. Research is now very different in both scope and structure, and research reports are no longer complete summaries of work. AMSR needed to acquire an understanding of:
• How current agencies are/have been archiving and disposing of their projects over the last 25 years.
• What other archivists are doing to capture modern digital content for their archives.

The now-completed research has contributed greatly to our strategy for collecting modern digital material and moving the Archive forward. More of her gift will be put to similar good use in the months and years to come.

We believe Judie would have approved of the research, as a way forward in understanding the present and the future and helping to ensure the sustainability of the Archive.