And the winners are...

Published 28 April 2023

13 winners and 7 high commendations at Smee & Ford's Legacy Giving Awards 2023

On Thursday 27th April 2023, the Smee & Ford Legacy Giving Awards culminated in a ceremony which shone a light on the outstanding achievements of legacy administration and fundraising professionals.

13 winners, selected from 64 deserving finalists, were announced during the ceremony at Hilton, London Bankside, hosted by comedian Hal Cruttenden.

The award-winning entries were reviewed and assessed by an expert judging panel that included some of the biggest names from the charitable legacies community. Finalists came from a wide range of charities of varying sizes and causal areas, and winners were scored based on our judging criteria of Excellence, Innovation, and Impact.

Smee & Ford would like to thank our supporting partners; Shakespeare Martineau, Guardian Angel,  The Institute of Legacy Management and Remember a Charity, and sends huge congratulations to all of the worthy winners and finalists.

You can view the full list of winners below, and sign up here for more information on next year's categories, judging processes, and helpful hints on how to make your submission a winning entry. 

The purpose of the Smee & Ford Legacy Giving Awards is to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of the people and teams working hard to attract, steward and manage legacy gifts for UK charities. The unique work of legacy teams has not always been widely understood and appreciated, so we’re delighted that the winners have been recognised in an exceptional field of nominees, each showcasing successes, and achievements this last year.

2023 categories and winners:


Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership in Legacy Giving
Shelter – Shelter Will Week Collaboration Champions

High Commendation:
Legacy Life Cover & Crisis – Free Legacy Gifts Project

Excellence in Dealing with a Contested Will
Cancer Research UK - Alex Leighton

Excellence in a Free Online Will Service
National Trust - Bequeathed - Will For Good

High Commendations:

Crisis and Farewill – Increasing Legacy Income through our Improved Free Online Wills Service

Helen & Douglas House – Free Gifts in Wills Pledge Appeal

Excellence in Legacy Pledger Stewardship
Legacy Stewardship at Bible Society

High Commendations:

Guide Dogs – Engaging with our Legacy Life Changers

The Leprosy Mission – A Future Free from Leprosy

Excellence in Pledger Acquisition
University of York - Students, Events, Calling, Cross-Messaging: Diversifying our Legacy Acquisition Channels

Excellence in Working with Lay Executors – in partnership with Institute of Legacy Management
WaterAid Legacy Management Team

Legacy Administration Professional of the Year (legacy income under £5million)
Jason Williams, East Anglian Air Ambulance

Legacy Administration Team of the Year (legacy income over £5million) in partnership with Shakespeare Martineau
Legacy Income Management Team at RSPCA

High Commendation:
Diabetes UK – Legacy Administration Team

Making a Difference in Legacy Giving 2023
Digilegal – Capacity Vault

Most Innovative Legacy Campaign
Weldmar Hospicecare – Zero to Hero Legacy Campaign

Outstanding Achievement by a Legacy Fundraising Team
Weldmar Hospicecare – Above and Beyond Stewardship

Outstanding Individual in Legacy Fundraising
Emma McCormack, Victoria and Albert Museum

Outstanding Legacy Fundraising Achievement 2023
Douglas Macmillan Hospice – Make A Will Month

High Commendation:
Weldmar Hospicecare – Above and Beyond Expectation

Congratulations winners!

1 Excellence In Collaboration And Partnership In Legacy Giving 1
2 Excellence In Dealing With A Contested Will
3 Excellence In A Free Online Will Service 1
4 Excellence In Legacy Pledger Stewardship 1
5 Excellence In Legacy Pledger Stewardship
6 Excellence In Pledger Acquisition
7 Excellence In Working With Lay Executors 1
8 Making A Difference In Legacy Giving 1
9 Legacy Administration Professional Of The Year (Legacy Income Under £5Million)
10 Outstanding Individual In Legacy Fundraising 1
11 Outstanding Legacy Fundraising Achievement
12 Legacy Administration Team Of The Year (Legacy Income Over £5Million)
13 Outstanding Achievement By A Legacy Fundraising Team