Legacy fundraising set for 'exceptional growth' to £43bn over next decade, experts predict

Charities are set to experience an “exceptional period of growth” from legacies over the next 10 years, new figures show. 

The charity legacy consortium Legacy Foresight has upgraded its forecast for charity legacy income over the next 10 years from £40bn to £43bn, according to a statement released today to mark the start of Remember A Charity Week, which encourages people to consider leaving a gift to charity in their wills. 

Legacy Foresight predicted at the end of last year that the number of charitable gifts in wills could be as much as 50 per cent higher in 2021 because of a record-breaking death rate and a backlog of existing bequests. 

But the statement today said the next decade was “expected to bring an exceptional period of growth, fuelled by the intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers”.

It said: “Appetite for legacy giving is growing and, despite recent delays at probate, the number of charitable bequests is predicted to rise by 30 per cent over the decade.”

It comes as figures from the legacy information company Smee & Ford show that more than one million gifts totalling over £23bn have been made to charities between 2010/11 and 2019/20. 

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “Legacy giving can be transformational for UK charities and it’s wonderful to see such scope for growth. 

“Donations have long been on the rise, but the global pandemic has accelerated that growth, shining a spotlight on the critical role of charities in our communities and the importance of will-writing. 

“This funding will be vital for the sector as we strive to build back and strengthen resilience for whatever the future brings.”

Remember A Charity Week, which is in its 12th year, brings together 200 charities and 1,300 legal professionals to promote legacy giving in the UK. 

This year’s campaign, which involves the fictional recycling-enthusiast creatures The Wombles and the dance expert Len Goodman, asks people: “Will you?”

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