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The tenth International Legacy Giving Day took place on 13 September 2021, with charities and legacy consortia across the world joining forces to celebrate and thank those who have left a charitable bequest, and highlighting long-term growth in legacy giving
Running national legacy awareness days and weeks on that date and at key points throughout September, consortia worldwide have been championing and promoting the opportunity of supporting good causes in this way, using digital platforms, TV advertising, radio and print to highlight the power of legacy giving. Seeking to open up conversation about this form of giving, media interviews, videos and case studies have been launched to drive dialogue and convey not only the impact of such gifts, but the ease and practicality of legacy giving and writing a Will. With the shift to digital channels across all age groups in recent years, social media now forms a key part of many nations’ campaigns.
Among the most creative approaches, the Australian consortium’s Include a Charity Week saw the launch of a quiz asking people ‘ What kind of legend are you?‘. The quiz is a light-hearted way of approaching the topic and encouraging people to consider the impact they want to have on the world; whether they are the legend who cares and protects the world around them or ‘a legend of love and dedication’.
Working closely with the legal and Will-writing community is a common theme among legacy giving activists, with many consortia offering dedicated workshops and support for solicitors, Will-writers or notaries this month, including those in Denmark, Finland, Austria and the UK. In Sweden and Norway, advice was offered about how to write a Will, while, in the Czech Republic a month-long campaign led by Závet pomáhá continues, incentivising the public to take action now, with free notary services for all those who write a Will that includes a charitable bequest.
Meanwhile in Ireland, My Legacy launched a powerful bid to government on International Legacy Giving Day to remove VAT from the cost of making a Will for those who choose to include a charitable bequest is included, with Aoife Garvey, chair of My Legacy, saying: “If 1,500 more people left a legacy gift, the VAT foregone would only cost €68,702 yet the future impact for recipient charities could be immense.
“Legacy gifts of all sizes can safeguard the future and maximum service capacity of a charity, at no cost to the donor now, and will protect the vulnerable in our society in the future.”
Long-term growth of legacy giving
Many legacy consortia too this moment to celebrate longer-term growth in awareness and legacy giving behaviour, with Remember A Charity in the UK announcing that more than one million legacy donations had been gifted to charity in the past ten years, and anticipating a €50 billion legacy ‘boom’ over the next decade. Growth was also recently reported in Belgium (Testament.be), with €434.4 million donated to charities in Flanders in 2020 and in Spain, where Haz Testamento Solidario reported 35% growth in legacy giving in Spain over ten years. Meanwhile, the Solidarity Testament Committee (Testamento Solidale) in Italy revealed that three quarters of the public are now aware of the opportunity of leaving a gift in their Will, rising to 8 in 10 of those aged 60+.
Research continues to build understanding about the legacy giving environment within the sector and beyond, demonstrating the significance of charitable bequests and the inspiring future generations of givers.
2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the International Legacy Giving Day at legacy.giving.eu.