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The average size of legacy donations to charities in Belgium grew by nearly 9% last year, to €135,441.
Health charities received the largest income from legacies, although gifts given to environmental and animal welfare charities were on average much higher.
The four charities receiving a total of more than €10 million in legacy income this year were:
- Stichting tegen Kanker (Foundation Against Cancer): €25.5 million
- Kom op tegen Kanker (Stand up to Cancer): €19.1 million
- Artsen Zonder Grenzen (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders): €15.5 million
- Vrienden Der Blinden (Friends of the Blind): €11.3m
Last year, Artsen Zonder Grenzen was the number one charity in that list. Vrienden Der Blinden is a new entry into the €10m-plus bracket, while healthcare research charity Fondation Saint-Luc, which had been third on the list last year, drops out.
The report shows that for the charities receiving legacies in the country, the mean average number received was a little more than five. That number has been five or six in most years of the study, which was first published in 2010, although in 2019 and 2021 it was nearly seven. In every year, the modal average has been one.
For charities receiving legacies, these gifts accounted on average for 18% of their income, a figure that has risen steadily from 11% in 2010.
The report notes that the sector will continue to be alert to the long-term impact of 2021 changes to tax rules for legacies in Flanders, which is home to more than half of the country’s population. Previously, the system had been abused for tax optimisation purposes, and had the effect of creating large extra taxes for charities.
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