The UK faces a predicted legacy boom worth up to £40 billion over the next decade, presenting charities with a unique window of time to act and benefit from market growth, according to a joint report by Remember A Charity, Legacy Foresight, the Institute of Legacy Management and Smee & Ford.
The report indicates that a substantial uplift in demand for Will-writing coupled with the scale of inheritance anticipated from the baby boomer generation has created an exceptional opportunity for longer-term legacy growth. However, it also conveys a sense of urgency, pointing to a limited timeframe in which charities can act to benefit from this growth, and emphasising therefore the need for charities to continue to communicate the importance of legacies both within and beyond their supporter base.
With over 10,000 charities named in Wills each year according to Smee & Ford figures, the UK legacy market is an increasingly competitive space, making it all the more important for fundraisers to focus not only on market share, but on working together to grow the market and inspire future generations to leave a gift in their Will.
And, while Legacy Foresight figures show that legacy income is expected to double in real terms over the next 30 years, the report highlights that it is the volume of donations that will be critical in driving future market growth.
Allan Freeman, chair of Remember A Charity, said:
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on charitable income, lives and livelihoods, making gifts in Wills all the more important for the sector’s recovery. But it’s also brought us to a pivotal moment when it comes to growing legacy giving.
“At the cusp of the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer of all time, we’re seeing a marked increase in the public’s appetite for Will-writing. This is a unique opportunity not only to normalise legacy giving, but to develop a more resilient financial core.”
Featuring in-depth insights from 12 legacy experts and findings from a survey of over 120 charity sector representatives, the report, Strengthening Charities’ Resilience with Legacies, looks at the impact of the pandemic, with recommendations for the ways in which charities can strengthen their legacy fundraising programmes during times of uncertainty.
Legacy fundraisers highlight the importance of being agile, adapting their legacy fundraising activities and messaging in line with the wider environment. They emphasise the need to demonstrate particular sensitivity and care for supporters, making greater use of digital channels, offering support for Will-writing, and having the whole organisation, particularly trustees and senior management, supporting the drive for legacies.
Polly Avgherinos, managing director, Smee & Ford, commented:
“Over the past 20 years, we have witnessed a positive change in legacy giving, with the number of people leaving a gift to charity, the value of charitable estates and the resulting value of charitable gifts in Wills all growing strongly. Despite the challenges of this year, the combined data and insight in this report clearly demonstrate that legacies will remain a significant and growing source of income for the future.”