Legacy giving set to be worth £4.7bn to charity sector within ten years

Legacy giving is set to increase by around a quarter over the next decade, a survey of more than 80 charities has revealed.

It is anticipated that charitable bequests will increase by 23% over the next ten years, from 118,000 a year to 145,000.

Income from legacies over this period is set to grow by 37% and be worth £4.7bn by 2029.

A rising death rate and growing interest in leaving a gift in a will are key factors, says Legacy Foresight, which analyses the legacy and in-memory giving sectors.

Charities founded in the last 50 years are seeing the fastest growth rates, according to Legacy Foresight’s 2020 Legacy Market Briefing report.

The average charity founded after 1970 receives £1.2m a year in legacy income, a rise of 7.8% over the last five years.

Health charities dominate legacy giving, accounting for 38% of all bequests. Other notable sectors are animal charities (15%), international development (9%), disability (7%).

‘Legacy super brand’

The RNLI, is described by Legacy Foresight as a “legacy super-brand”, accounting for 5% of all legacy giving.

International development, armed forced, animal and health charities are growing fastest in the legacy sector.

Legacy Foresight development director Meg Abdy said: “Over the past three decades legacy incomes have grown six-fold; and after taking inflation into account, incomes have trebled in real terms.

“That growth trajectory is likely to continue; we expect legacy incomes to double in real terms over the next thirty years.

“Perhaps most importantly, legacy incomes will continue to hold up during the current crisis while many other income streams are plummeting. The number of gifts you receive, and in many cases their value, is not a reflection of donors’ current desire or capacity to give but is determined by supporter relationships forged over many years.

“That resilience makes legacy income fundamental to your charity’s sustainability during the pandemic, and through the tough years that lie ahead.”

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