British Heart Foundation reports record legacy donations as it recovers from pandemic

The British Heart Foundation (BHF)’s income increased by £85m following the Covid pandemic, with legacy donations reaching record levels.

The charity’s income increased by 148% from £57.2m during the health crisis impacted 2020/21, in which fundraising events were postponed and charity shops closed their doors amid social distancing guidelines.

But by 2021/22 its income had increased to £142.1m.

As it recovered from the pandemic and was able to stage events and reopen its network of shops over the last year, legacy income reached a record £102.6m.

The clearing of a pandemic affected backlog of probate cases as well as rising property prices are behind the legacy donation increase, said the charity in its annual report.

“As always, we’ve had excellent collaboration from executors who have worked with us to maximise the gifts from generous supporters,” states the report.

“To receive any legacy is truly humbling and a testament to a supporter’s generosity.”

The BHF adds that its financial reserves have increased to £285.8m and it is committed to carrying out £410m worth of research. It is currently supporting 900 research projects and awarded £72.3m in new research grants last year.

“As we started our financial year last April, all of our shops stood closed during yet another lockdown,” said BHF chief executive Charmaine Griffiths.

“However, on the day of reopening, the dedication of our incredible team led to our biggest ever day of trading, generating more than £1m in sales.

“This commitment across our BHF team has characterised so much of our work over the last year, and it’s meant we’ve been able to invest £72.3m in more lifesaving research.”

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