Scottish and Welsh charities are the fastest growing legacy market

New research has revealed that Scottish and Welsh charities outperformed other parts of the UK with regards to real terms legacy income growth in the last decade.

To mark the launch of Remember a Charity’s three-year plan, the organisation released the UK Legal Fundraising Market 2019 report, unveiling new trends and insights into the legacy income market for more than 1,100 UK fundraising charities.

The majority of fundraising charities included in the study were located in England (68 per cent), followed by those with a UK-wide remit (59 per cent). The 2019 report found that while Welsh and Scottish legacy markets constitute a small percentage of the UK’s legacy income (amounting to a cumulative total of just 4 per cent, or £91.4 million), the charities saw real terms legacy income growth in Wales and Scotland of 35 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. This compares with the average UK growth rate over the same period (from 2007-2017) of 10 per cent.

Over the last decade, the research found there was a changing preference in the kinds of organisations people are naming in their wills. Health charities retained the most significant income share from legacies in 2017 at 42 per cent. Animal charities accounted for 16 per cent, while overseas aid, environmental and service charities also experienced an increase in the market. During the same period, however, charities for the elderly, educational causes and religious charities decreased.

The top 10 UK legacy-earning charities accounted for 65 per cent of Scotland’s total legacy income and was made up of household name charities:

  1. Cancer Research UK
  2. Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  3. Macmillan Cancer Support
  4. RSPCA
  5. British Heart Foundation
  6. The National Trust
  7. Salvation Army Trust
  8. Guide Dogs
  9. PDSA
  10. Royal National Institute of Blind People

According to Remember a Charity’s long-term strategic plan, more than 26,000 charities have been named in wills in the past five years. 15.8 per cent of wills that went into probate (executry) included a charitable gift in 2017, a rise of 14.4 per cent since 2012 and 12.2 per cent in a decade. This is despite the number of deaths-per-year falling for the past three decades.

With legacies generating £71.6 million annually in Scotland and contributing 24 per cent of voluntary income, director of Remember a Charity, Rob Cope, explained the importance of leaving charitable gifts in wills:

“With rapid expansion in the legal fundraising marketplace and more charities at the table… this reinforces the need for the sector to work collaboratively to grow the donor market, providing a more stable basis for this vital income stream for the years ahead.”

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