Remember A Charity, which encourages people to leave gifts to charity in their wills, has joined forces with The Co-operative Legal Services and the Cabinet Office in a bid to boost UK legacy giving by £1bn a year.
Legacy giving is already worth almost £2bn a year to charities. The government wants to increase the proportion of the population that donate through their wills to 11 per cent from the existing 7 per cent.
The partnership involves the Co-operative promoting the importance of leaving a gift to charity in its will-writing service.
It will also be offering a free advice and information service to supporters of Remember A Charity’s 140 charity members, which include Cancer Research UK and the RNLI. The customers will also receive a discount on the fees for drawing up their wills.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said the behavioural insight team – also known as the nudge team – at the Cabinet Office would be monitoring the most effective ways of prompting people to give through their wills.
This will involve monitoring the work of the Co-operative’s will writers for a year, he said.
He said the partnership, which has been 18 months in the making, was a huge opportunity for the sector. "At the moment, only one in four solicitors and will writers actually talk about charity when they write wills," Cope said. "Most people are not aware that they can support their favourite charities in this way.
"I genuinely believe that we could raise millions of pounds for good causes through this long-term partnership."
Ian Mackie, sales and marketing director of The Co-operative Legal Services, said it would be testing variations to the will-writing process to discover the most effective way of getting people to leave legacy gifts.
"This process could generate thousands of gifts a year and have a positive emotional impact too, because we know that people who leave legacies feel really good about supporting a cause that’s close to their hearts," he said.
The government is aiming to make the UK the first country in the world where it is the social norm to leave 10 per cent to charity in a will.
Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "We are working with the Co-operative and Remember A Charity because we want more people in the UK to consider leaving money to good causes when they write their wills so that we can start to increase legacy donations from their current level of £2bn."