Animal charities dominate legacy gifts league table again

The Legacy Potential Premier League Table 2019-2020, which ranks charities by their potential to generate bequests from existing supporters, is topped by Cats Protection for the second year running

Animal charities continue to dominate an annual league table of the charities that are most likely to receive legacy gifts from their existing supporters.

The Legacy Potential Premier League Table 2019-2020, produced by the marketing data company fastmap for the second time, ranks charities by their potential to generate bequests in wills from existing supporters.

The survey of 15,000 charity supporters also found an increase of four percentage points in the proportion of people who said they would consider leaving gifts in their wills.

Charity Position 2019/20 Position 2018/19
Cats Protection 1 1
Donkey Sancturary 2 Not in top 20
Battersea 3 2
Dogs Trust 4 3
Blue Cross 5 Not in top 20
Breast Cancer Now 6 Not in top 20
Cancer Research UK 7 5
Alzheimer's Research 9 Not in top 20
PDSA 10 Not in top 20

Cats Protection topped the list for the second year in a row, with the Donkey Sanctuary, which did not make it into the top 20 last year, coming second.

The animal rehoming charity Battersea and the Dogs Trust each fell one position from last year, coming in third and fourth respectively, while Blue Cross took fifth place, ensuring all of the top five spots were taken by animal charities.

Cancer Research UK, which consistently has the highest level of legacy income of any charity and received gifts in wills worth more than £181.5m in the year to 31 March 2018, slipped from fifth place to seventh, with Breast Cancer Now becoming the highest-placed non-animal charity on the list.

The pool of people surveyed this year was widened to include people who gave to and bought from charity shops. But even with this increase in the range of respondents, the report reveals that those who said they would consider leaving gifts to charities has increased by four percentage points.

"More of the public are open to the idea of leaving a legacy to a charity and of course this is a good thing," the report says.

"But it has a significant implication. It means that even to maintain your position in the league table you need your legacy consideration to increase."

Supporters of multiple charities might give to more than one charity in their wills, the report says, but many would leave only to one.

"Legacies are competitive," the report says. "This means that the likelihood your legacy income is being transferred to your competitors is high.

"To circumvent this, you need to investigate what the strengths of your competitors are to understand why your supporters would leave a legacy to them, rather than you."

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