Increase in donors writing a charity into their will

Almost one in five donors leave a gift to a good cause in their will but only around a half are notifying named charities of this legacy donation.

Figures show that 19% of donors leave a gift in their will, up from 14% in 2013, and a further 10% are prepared to do so.

Less than one in ten (9%) reject the concept of legacy giving, which is the largest source of voluntary income to charities, raising £3.4bn each year.

The findings have emerged in a survey of 2,000 donors carried out by the Remember A Charity consortium of 200 voluntary organisations.

Among the 48% who have not let charities know about their gift, the most common reason is that they can’t understand how the charity would benefit from knowing in advance. Another factor is fearing they may change their mind.

Remember a Charity director Rob Cope said: “People don’t always understand what a difference it can make to charities if they can plan ahead and budget for the future, particularly when it comes to often sizeable legacy donations.

“This research shows that there’s a real opportunity for charities to communicate that message and encourage legacy pledgers to share their story with the organisation.

“This gives you the opportunity to thank supporters and steward those relationships, and to help normalise giving by making it a 'social' behaviour.”

The survey also found that donors with a financial adviser are 26% more likely to leave a gift to a charity in their will.

“This continued growth in legacy giving is testament to charities’ increased focus on legacies and their willingness to collaborate, inspiring more people to leave a gift in their Will and raise vital funding for charities across the country,” said

Cope added: “The more we talk about it and normalise the concept – particularly with the predicted surge of donations from baby boomers, the more charities will be able to benefit for generations to come.”

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