Legacy Body’s Founding Member Dies

Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) announced with great sadness this week that one of ILM’s founding members, Crispin Ellison, died peacefully with his family on Friday 30th August.

Crispin started his career in legacies in the mid-1980s while working at ActionAid and was involved in the early years of Will Aid, as the development sector came together to respond to the East African famine disaster.

It was during this time that he developed the early prototype for the legacy management software ‘FirstClass’, by bringing together a group of eight charity legacy officers to collaborate and develop a resource that would help the whole sector manage the growing number of legacy gifts more effectively.

Crispin was one of the founding members of the ILM, formed in 1999, and became its first Director after spending five years as Head of Legacy Administration for the British Heart Foundation.

Crispin Ellison

During his time at ILM, Crispin set up the first training programmes for legacy administrators and was involved in the foundation of a professional qualification for charity legacy officers – the Certificate in Charity Legacy Administration (CiCLA).

After leaving the British Heart Foundation, Crispin joined Legacy Link and eventually took over the running of the business in 2009. Over the next nine years, Crispin grew Legacy Link into the leading legacy administration consultancy in the sector and worked with hundreds of charities across the country.

Sadly, Crispin was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2015 which ended his career prematurely, but even after retiring, Crispin continued to be involved in the legacy sector that he loved and was so instrumental in shaping.

Crispin was honoured at the ILM Conference in 2016 with a Lifetime Achievement Award and voted in as Lifetime President of ILM. He also launched a bursary through Legacy Link, to fund students through CiCLA, which Legacy Link have continued each year in his honour.


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