Legacy donations now total an annual €305m in the Netherlands for the country’s top 100 legacy charities, and accounts for 11% of their total income, according to figures from Legacy Foresight’s 2020 Dutch Market Snapshot Report.
The report’s figures show that across the sector, the legacy share of total fundraising income is increasing and now stands at an average of 25% for the top 100 organisations. Key factors driving this growth are an increase in deaths and in the average value of legacies, as well as a shift from pecuniary bequests (fixed amounts) to residual bequests (where supporters opt to donate the remainder of their estate).
All sectors have experienced growth in recent years, with the share of the arts, culture and science sector increasing, and that of faith-based charities declining. And, while older charities receive more legacy income on average, legacy income to younger organisations is growing fastest.
Legacy Foresight forecasts that legacies will continue to grow significantly over the next decade with legacy income for Dutch charities set to see average annual growth over the next ten years of between 2.3% and 3.3% per annum.
Legacy Monitor Netherlands consortium
Legacy Foresight has been analysing the Dutch legacy market through a joint project, Legacy Monitor Netherlands, with legacy fundraising specialist Arjen van Ketel since 2014. Legacy Monitor Netherlands now includes 23 charities representing almost 50% of the legacy income of the top 100 Dutch legacy charities.
Across this consortium, legacies account for 22% of fundraising income. Its consumer surveying has found that older people and baby boomers are more open to favouring charities in their Will but that only 7% of Dutch over 50s currently include a gift to charity in their Will, compared to 13% of those in the UK.
First Free Wills Month for the Netherlands
To help address this, van Ketel has coordinated the nation’s first Free Wills Month to take place in May next year, in partnership with Capacity, the organisation behind the British Free Wills Month.
The Dutch Free Wills Month will take place in May 2021 with ten participating charities and a number of notaries. The group of charities will cover a variety of causes from health, welfare, and culture, to nature, environment, animals, international aid, and children.
As in the UK, members of the public will be able to contact a participating notary during this month to request an appointment to make a Will. Those taking up the offer are however under no obligation to leave a gift to one of the Free Wills Month charities.
The Free Wills Month concept has been running in the UK since 2005, with around 50,000 Wills drawn up for charities since launch. It has also been rolled out in Canada.
Arjen van Ketel commented:
“This is an exciting new step for Dutch legacy fundraising. Will making in the Netherlands is strictly organised and more costly than in many other countries so is often something people postpone. The free Wills service is an important additional instrument for charities to increase legacy giving to their charity.”
In addition, Legacy Foresight will also continue growing Legacy Monitor Netherlands. It plans to run the programme over a two-year cycle and lower the threshold for participation to allow more charities to join at a lower cost, and those interested in finding out more are asked to get in touch with Arjen van Ketel.