Five percentage point rise in people including a charitable gift in their will, survey shows

Almost one in five charity donors are leaving a gift in their will – but only half of them have told the charity they plan to donate to, according to a survey by Remember a Charity.

The legacy consortium’s latest Consumer Benchmark Study, which surveys more than 2,000 charity donors aged 40 and over, found that 19 per cent of respondents said they had included a charity in their will, up from 14 per cent when the study began in 2013.

And, the study found, a further 10 per cent of charity donors said they were preparing to draw up a will that included a charity gift.

Just 9 per cent of of those surveyed rejected the idea of leaving a charitable legacy all together.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “This continued growth in legacy giving is testament to charities’ increased focus on legacies and their willingness to collaborate, inspiring more people to leave a gift in their will and raise vital funding for charities across the country.

“The more we talk about it and normalise the concept – particularly with the predicted surge of donations from baby boomers – the more charities will be able to benefit for generations to come.”

But the study also found that 48 per cent of people who had made a charitable bequest had not informed the charity of their plans.

When asked why, the most common response was that they did not see how it would benefit the charity to know, while others said they had not mentioned it because they might change their mind.

Cope said: “People don’t always understand what a difference it can make to charities if they can plan ahead and budget for the future, particularly when it comes to often sizeable legacy donations.

"This research shows that there’s a real opportunity for charities to communicate that message and encourage legacy pledgers to share their story with the organisation. This gives you the opportunity to thank supporters and steward those relationships, and to help normalise giving by making it a ‘social’ behaviour.”

The research found that 62 per cent of donors had already prepared a will – but the likelihood of making a will increased with age: 84 per cent of respondents aged over 70 had written a will, compared with 46 per cent of those in their early 40s.

Slightly more than half of respondents with a will said they had updated it at least once and almost six in 10 indicated they were likely to change it in future.

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