Legacy income growth in Scotland outstripping the rest of Britain, report concludes

Legacy income growth in Scotland has outstripped the rest of Britain over the past five years, new figures show. 

A report published by the legacy consortiums Remember a Charity and Legacy Foresight, the Institute of Legacy Management and the legacy information company Smee & Ford, shows that average annual legacy income grew by seven per cent a year between 2014/15 and 2019/20, compared with 4.6 per cent in England and Wales. 

The report says that real-term legacy income among Scottish charities grew 23 per cent over a 10-year period between 2007 and 2017, while those operating UK-wide reported 13 growth.

Between 2013 and 2018, there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of Scottish charities named in wills. 

“Where Scottish legacy charities once lagged behind other UK markets, the situation is now reversed,” the report says. 

It says the high growth rate reflected the fact that the Scottish market has a high proportion of smaller charities, many of which were new to the legacy market and would typically see faster growth than organisations with more established legacy programmes.

The report says that charities in Scotland are raising more than £90m a year in gifts from wills. 

It says that although 50 Scottish charities generate 70 per cent of legacy income, the market in Scotland is broadening, with more charities – many of them smaller, community-based organisations – conducting legacy fundraising. 

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said the Scottish charity legacy market was at a tipping point. 

“On the verge of the biggest international wealth transfer in history, Scottish supporters seem to be feeling even more closely connected to the good causes they care about, with more and more people choosing to leave a gift in their will," he said. 

“Legacy giving may be less prevalent currently in Scotland, but consumer studies show that Scottish people are even more willing to consider leaving a gift than those south of the border. 

“So, there’s an even greater opportunity for growth and for the sector to work together to normalise gifts in wills.” 

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