Fundraising: Awareness of charitable legacies at record high

A television and press campaign fronted by Michael Buerk has led to a record level of awareness of charity legacies among its target age group.

Remember A Charity was launched in 2002 to encourage people to consider leaving a donation to charity in their wills. It employed the slogan "I will. Will you?"

Beurk's message that "everyone can leave the world a better place" was broadcast in March. Research carried out by Mori has since revealed that 49 per cent of people aged 45 and over recalled the campaign in the month after it was broadcast. Awareness of the legacies before the advert was broadcast was 38 per cent.

"Every percentage point rise in the number of people leaving legacies to charity brings an extra £100m a year into the sector," said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising. "Remember A Charity is key to ensuring more legacy donations in the future."

The Mori research also revealed that more people than ever are now aware of charitable legacies.

Of the 1,000 adults surveyed last month, those who said they would be very or fairly likely to consider leaving a gift to charity in their wills increased from 22 per cent to 26 per cent.

Jonathan Parris, director of Remember A Charity, said it was too early to tell whether the advertising campaign would generate an increase in the number or value of charitable legacies. But he added that recent research indicated that legacy income has increased by 36 per cent since 2003.

Remember A Charity, a consortium of 140 charities, was launched in 2002 with the twin aims of working to tell more people about charitable legacies and reaching audiences that are beyond the reach of lone charities. At that time, research suggested that awareness of charitable legacies was below 20 per cent. Since then, it has steadily grown to last month's peak of 49 per cent.

Carol Johns, legacy manager at the RNID, said: "Remember A Charity allows us to run our own campaigns in addition to those run by the consortium.

They are mutually beneficial and this can reinforce the benefits of legacy giving."

Last month, the consortium published research suggesting that 68 per cent of UK adults want to leave their mark on the world by including a donation to charity in their wills.

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