Remember A Charity Week is highlighting the benefits of leaving a gift to a charity in your will
The importance of legacy giving has been highlighted as charities struggle with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
With law firms, financial advisers and charities reporting a surge in will-writing enquiries during the pandemic, Remember A Charity in your Will Week (7 to 13 September) is aiming to boost and grow legacy giving at a time where this income stream has never been more important.
Over 100 people across the UK currently write a gift to charity in their will each day, raising £3 billion for charities annually, but charity consortium Remember A Charity says there is far greater appetite for donating in this way.
Around 17% of wills that go through probate include a donation, and four in 10 of those aged 40 and over say they would be happy to leave a gift in their will. Around 10,000 charities are remembered in the nation’s wills each year, with over 1,600 charities named for the first time in 2019.
Remember A Charity Week is the nation’s annual public awareness campaign, which sees almost 200 charities come together to celebrate and inspire gifts in wills. This year’s campaign is supported by the consortium’s network of 1,200 solicitors and will-writers, who commit to making their clients aware of the option of leaving a gift in their will.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “Legacies have been truly transformative for so many organisations over the years, but the pandemic has shown just how important this income stream can be for charities’ financial resilience. At a time when the sector is facing urgent funding shortfalls, legacies have played a key role in helping to sustain front line services, and they will surely be a critical part of so many charities’ recovery plans.
“Although it’s not been easy for fundraisers to open up conversations about gifts in wills during the pandemic, Remember A Charity Week is a great springboard enabling everyone across the charity to get those conversations started. With the charity and legal sector reporting high levels of demand for will-writing, this could be a unique opportunity to help normalise this vital income stream.”
While the consortium works year-round to promote legacy giving, the awareness week is a pivotal moment when charities, solicitors and will-writers come together to communicate the impact of legacies.
Digital channels form the backbone of this year’s national awareness drive, which includes the launch of a short animated film, social media resources and promotional imagery starring The Wombles, together with legacy-focused supplements in the national press and a high profile media drive across the national, broadcast and legal press.
Cope added: “During the week, we’ll be working with charities and the legal profession to reach and engage the giving public, inspiring them to think about their legacy and how a charitable bequest could shape the world they leave behind.”
Remember A Charity has also launched a new website that focuses on legators’ and charities’ unique and inspirational stories, while providing guidance and practical information about writing a gift in your will.
Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge and professional ballroom dancer, Len Goodman, and 2010 Glitterball trophy winner and actress Kara Tointon are supporting this year’s campaign.
Goodman said: “This is my third year supporting Remember A Charity Week and I’ve had the chance to meet some of the fantastic people working hard for charitable causes. I’ve included a charitable gift in my will after my family has been taken care of – it’s such a simple, easy thing to do that makes an enormous difference. Hopefully this week will inspire more people to do the same – just think what we could achieve if we all made that small change to our will!”