More than 40 per cent of older people who have written wills would not consider making bequest to charities, according to new figures from the children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent.
A poll of 2,000 nationally representative 50 to 75-year-olds, commissioned by the charity, found that 60 per cent of respondents had wills. Of these, 32 per cent said they would consider remembering charities in their wills.
Twenty-six per cent said they were not sure whether they would consider doing so and 41 per cent said they would not.
Lucy Caldicott, director of fundraising at Clic Sargent, said: "We absolutely understand that when people make a will, their first consideration is to provide for family and friends, but people can also make a real difference to future generations by leaving a legacy to charity."
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said he found the results of the poll very encouraging.
"Our own statistics suggest that only 7 per cent of people currently leave gifts to charity in their wills," he said. "So if this poll shows that almost a third of people would consider it, there is a great opportunity there to convert more of these people into actually doing so."
He said that converting even a small percentage of these people could generate a huge amount of extra cash for the sector. To do this, Cope said, charities needed to reach out to their supporters.
"It’s about reminding your supporter base of the importance of gifts in wills and about reaching out to both your traditional supporters and potential supporters through a range of channels," he said.
"Charities need to be noisy about legacies on their website and be braver about having that conversation."