Over 200 charities and up to 1,400 legal advisers joined forces in the UK this September to showcase the impact of legacy giving and encourage the public to consider leaving a gift in their will.
The ninth annual Remember A Charity Week took place from 10-16 September, bringing the launch of the Human Search Engine – the world’s first ‘charity-powered’ search engine and public awareness campaign, which showcases the role of charities in addressing life’s biggest challenges.
The Human Search Engine enables people to ask over 150 of life’s biggest questions and find responses from charities, their supporters and beneficiaries. This includes ‘can one person change the world?’ and ‘what is the meaning of happiness?’, through to causal related questions such as ‘how can we can remove barriers for people with disabilities?’ and ‘how can we help ensure no family faces dementia alone?’
The 200-strong Remember A Charity consortium comprises a diverse range of organisations actively fundraising for legacies, including over 70 health organisations, 30 animal and 26 arts, cultural and heritage organisations, among others.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “Gifts in wills now generate over £2.8 billion for good causes in the UK annually, funding vital services across the country. And yet, with only around 6% of people currently include a charity in their will, there is huge potential for further growth and to normalise legacy giving.”
“Having first trialled Remember A Charity Week in 2009, the campaign has expanded each year, reflecting the sector’s growing appetite for legacy fundraising. Remember A Charity Week is a unique opportunity to celebrate the importance of charitable bequests and to inspire the public to think about what a difference they could make if they wrote a charity into their will. What’s more, it can be a great springboard for charities to raise the topic and start their own legacy conversations with supporters.”
Collective campaigns for legacy giving are growing across the world, with public-awareness activities in place in Finland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland, to name but a few.
In Finland, where figures show only 10% of people have made a will, its Hyvä Testmentti (Good Testament) campaign has 21 participating charities and held its third annual Legacy Day on 13 September this year. It is also holding legacy events in three cities over the autumn months to encourage more people to consider making a will and leaving a legacy.
Ireland’s annual My Legacy campaign holds its My Legacy Week from 30 October to 4 November, while Spain has Legado Solidario, which has the involvement of 25 non-profit organisations, Belgium has Testament.be, which started in 2008 and now has more than a hundred participating NGOs, and Switzerland has MyHappyEnd.
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