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Revealed: the charities benefiting from legacy giving

This news post is almost 3 years old

On average, legacy income accounts for a third of a UK charity’s voluntary income

The top charities people are leaving cash to in their wills have been revealed.

Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the RNLI are among the groups people want to benefit after they pass on.

Animal charities are also well represented in the list, published by the Remember a Charity coalition, with the RSPB and PDSA receiving sizeable donations.

On average, legacy income accounts for a third of a UK charity’s voluntary income, funding six in 10 lifeboat launches and two in three guide dogs.

It also emerged a total of 10,428 charities were named in wills in 2018 - the highest on record.

And in total, £3 billion was donated to charity via gifts in wills.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “Over the last 10 years we’ve seen an incredible number of people choosing to leave a portion of their estate to their favourite charity in their will, which is wonderful to see.

“That said, we are a very charitable nation so it’s surprising that just six in 100 people leave a gift in their will, and it would be amazing if we could see this number continue to rise.

“Any gift – no matter how big or small – makes an enormous difference in helping charities to continue their incredible work, and what a wonderful way to ensure your legacy can live on after you’ve gone.”

Former head judge of Strictly Come Dancing, Len Goodman, lent his support to Remember A Charity Week, which runs from September 9-15, having altered his own will last year to include a charity close to his heart.

He said: “This is my second year supporting Remember A Charity Week and since last year I’ve had the chance to meet some of the fantastic people working hard for the charitable causes that Remember A Charity supports.

“I’ve since updated my will to include a charitable gift 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.”

Legacy income has increased by 50% over the last 10 years, with more people than ever choosing to support a charity close to their heart after they’ve gone.

And the data, from Smee and Ford, shows much of the growth comes from small and mid-size charities, with nine of the top 25 actually seeing a year-on-year decrease in legacy income.

Legacy income of top 25 charities in 2018/19 (compared to 2017/18)

The Capricorn Fund (received one £435m donation) - £435.3 (N/A)

Cancer Research UK - £181.5 (£186.6)

RNLI - £135.1 (£130.5)

Macmillan Cancer Support - £84.5 (£76.7)

British Heart Foundation - £83.4 (£73.3)

RSPCA - £77 (£78.6)

Salvation Army Trust - £63.6 (£50.4)

The National Trust - £51.9 (£61.6)

PDSA £45.7 (£45.1)

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association £43.7 (£47.9)

Royal National Institute of Blind People - £41.9 (£41.7)

Dogs Trust - £34.9 (£30.3)

Basil Latsen 1999 Charitable Trust - £34.7 (N/A)

Marie Curie Cancer Care - £34.4 (£33.2)

Charities Aid Foundation - £33.5 (£23.8)

Cats Protection - £31.5 (£30)

The British Red Cross Society - £31.3 (£30.9)

Honor Frost Charitable Trust - £30.4 (N/A)

RSPB - £30.4 (£34.6)

Age UK - £29.4 (£27.5)

Great Ormond Street Hospital - £26.2 (£14.1)

The Donkey Sanctuary - £23.3 (£24.8)

The Royal British Legion - £21.6 (£20.3)

NSPCC - £21.5 (£25)

Leonard Cheshire Disability - £21.3 (£7.2)



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