Rise in proportion of donors over 40 leaving legacy money to charities

A survey by Remember A Charity finds the figure at more than a quarter, the highest level since it began measuring in 2009

More than a quarter of charity donors over 40 have left or are preparing to leave charitable gifts in their wills, a survey by the legacy consortium Remember A Charity has found.

The group found that 27 per cent of 1,000 donors aged over 40 were intending to leave legacies to charity – the highest level since it began measuring in 2009.

Just 9 per cent completely rejected the idea of leaving donations in their wills, down from 13 per cent in 2009. The survey, carried out by the consultancy nfpSynergy, also found that awareness had risen, with 12 per cent saying they were unaware of the option to leave a legacy, compared with 17 per cent in 2009.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: "Legacy behaviour and attitudes are really starting to change. We are likely to see some fluctuation year on year, but now, with nine years of comparable data, we can see a sustained shift in public attitudes towards legacies."

Cope added that because 6 per cent of people who die leave money to charity in their wills, even a small increase could make a big difference.

The survey, carried out in October 2017, examined donor attitudes and rated them on a scale from rejection of legacies to taking action to leave one.

One in six (16 per cent) said they had written charities into their wills (down from its peak of 17 per cent in 2015) and 11 per cent said they were preparing to do so. A further 13 per cent said they were contemplating it.

Cope said: "With more and more charities coming into the marketplace, there is even greater need for organisations to invest in this area of fundraising and ensure they can continue to rely on such a vital income stream."

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