New figures indicate significance of legacy income

Legacy income has grown by some 1.8 per cent in the 12 months up to March 2019, new figures have revealed, indicating the importance of planned giving.

The finding forms part of research firm Legacy Foresight’s new study into charitable giving, measured across 80 charities who make up 50 per cent of the legacy market.

Legacy giving – also known as planned giving or gift planning – enables individuals to leave a portion of their estate to a charity after they have died.

In most case, assets given to a charity after death are treated as tax-exempt, meaning they do not form part of an individual’s total estate calculation – usually resulting in a smaller Inheritance Tax bill.

According to today’s data, some 54,000 individuals made bequests to charities in their Wills in the year up to March 2019. This represents a year-on-year increase of around 1.8 per cent.

Across the 80 charities recorded, this amounted to a combined total of £1.52 billion in legacy income alone.

The figures come shortly after research revealed that 84 per cent of charities expects to ramp up investment in legacy stewardship over the next five years.

Commenting on the finding, Meg Abdy, development director at Legacy Foresight said: “Inspiring a supporter to write your charity into their Will is a testament to the strength of their connection with you. However, it’s just the start of a journey which may take years, even decades to realise. Your legacy donors’ continued support cannot be taken for granted; evidence from our previous benchmarking studies suggests that on average only 50 per cent of pledgers who die go on to leave a bequest.

“There are all sorts of reasons why a pledger might remove your charity from their next will. To stay top of mind throughout your legacy donor’s lifetime, your charity must continue to prove your relevance, show your appreciation and build the supporter relationship.”

Gill Freeman, Partner at Milsted Langdon said: “The article above highlights the growing importance of legacy donations in charity fundraising.

“If you require specialist advice on the impact legacy donations have on your charity then contact our expert team today.”

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