Gifts in Wills raise over £90m in Scotland says Remember a Charity

People in Scotland leave more than £90 million a year to charity through gifts in Wills[1], according to a joint report released today by Remember A Charity, Legacy Foresight, the Institute of Legacy Management and Smee & Ford.

Each week, 47 people in Scotland leave a gift to charity in their Will. However, consumer polling indicates that there is far greater growth potential, with 42% of people in Scotland aged 40+ saying they would be happy to give in this way[2].

The new report, Building back stronger with charitable legacies, explores the role of charitable bequests for Scottish charities in the current environment, featuring new market data and commentary from experts in the field.

It reveals that legacy income to Scottish charities has been growing at an average of 7% per year, exceeding the 4.6% average growth rate for charities in England and Wales[3]. Currently, around 500 Scottish charities are named in Wills each year and almost two thirds of those are smaller charities and community-based organisations (64%)[4].

Although it is estimated that just 50 registered Scottish charities generate the lion’s share (70%) of legacy income[5], the market is broadening. From 2013 to 2018, there was an 18% increase in the number of Scottish charities named in Wills[6].

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity – a consortium of 200 charities, says:

“On the verge of the biggest international wealth transfer in history, Scottish supporters seem to be feeling even more closely connected to the good causes they care about, with more and more people choosing to leave a gift in their Will. And, as the sector builds back from the pandemic stronger and more resilient, that income will be all the more vital.”

Meg Abdy, Development Director at Legacy Foresight, adds:

“Over the past two decades the number of Scottish charitable estates has grown by over a quarter, while the value of those estates has trebled[7]. This means a lot more money for the causes Scottish people care about, whether that’s at a local level or to help those in need on the other side of the world.  Looking ahead, these trends are set to continue; creating huge opportunities for those charities with the ambition to convey their legacy vision to a new generation of legacy donors.”

The report features insight from legacy experts at Scottish charities about the impact of legacies on their organisation. Among them, Sarah Morgan, Legacy Development Officer at Erskine, says:

“Legacies are what’s kept us going through the pandemic. Regardless of the fact that they bring in around half our income, they have been a constant cash stream when so much else had to stop; our door-to-door campaigns and all our events. Legacies have been the one constant that we’ve been able to rely on. It’s hard to imagine how we would have survived without them.”

Vanessa Rhazali, Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Age Scotland, adds:

“A gift in a Will is not about death, it’s about life – people’s values, their aspirations, the things they want to carry on once they are gone. We want supporters to see that this is a very special way for them to help and that it really can make such a difference.”

For more information, see the full report.

[1] Legacy Foresight

[2] OnePoll

[3] Legacy Foresight

[4] Smee & Ford

[5] Legacy Foresight

[6] Smee & Ford

[7] Smee & Ford

Today's Wills and Probate