Fewer Belgian charities received legacy donations in 2021 than in the previous year, with the Covid-19 pandemic the likely cause, a new report shows. However, the total income from legacy donations rose.
The average value per organisation in 2021 was €1.7 million, up from €1 million in 2020, while the average per legacy rose from €100,174 in 2020 to €118,742 last year. On average, charities received 8 legacies each.
This is according to a report by the university of Applied Sciences Hogeschool Gent (HOGENT). It is based on data from 233 charities. The total number of legacies received (723) was a significant decrease from 835 in 2020.
The Legatenbarometer says: “In Belgium, almost all deaths from COVID-19 occurred immediately in 2020. That could possibly explain why there were slightly more legacies in 2020 than the year before and the year after.”
The total value of legacies received in 2021 was €218.6 million for 128 organisations. The majority (60%) of this went to organisations with an income of more than €9 million, despite these larger charities only making up 27% of the organisations in the report.
Four charities in the country, all of which are healthcare or medical charities, received a total of more than €10 million in legacy income:
– Artsen Zonder Grenzen (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders): €31.4 million
– Stichting tegen Kanker (Foundation Against Cancer): €27.3 million
– Fondation Saint-Luc: €26.6 million
– Kom op tegen Kanker (Stand up to Cancer): €13.6 million
The report also says that the charity sector remains concerned about the impact of a change to tax laws around ‘duo legacies’ in Flanders, the region containing more than half of Belgium’s population. These came into force in July 2021, and the Legatenbarometer says it is too early to assess its actual impact.
“The fact that so many Belgians are keen to recognise charities through legacies shows that the sector is doing a good job not just in making a positive difference in society, but in explaining that impact. The charity sector should see a big opportunity in further developing legacy fundraising, but we also need to pay close attention to the duo legacy law change, which risks taking away valuable funds from organisations doing crucial work,” Isabel Penne, president of Fundraisers Alliance Belgium notes.
Image by Florian Pircher on Pixabay
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