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League table reveals top 20 charities for legacy considerers

League table reveals top 20 charities for legacy considerers

UK animal charities are the most popular when supporters are considering leaving a gift in their will according to fastmap & Freestyle Marketing’s first legacy league table, published today (19 November).

The fastmap and Freestyle Marketing Legacy Potential Premier League surveyed over 10,000 charity supporters aged 50+ to generate an understanding of the extent and type of legacy support for over 100 charities. It aims to illustrate which charities have the biggest opportunities and where they are in comparison to their competitors, revealing the 20 charities that currently have the highest number of legacy considerers: those who say they are considering or already have pledged a legacy.

In the table, Cats Protection is in first place, followed by Battersea, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, and then Cancer UK completing the top five. RNLI, Macmillan, NSPCC, Woodland Trust, and Help for Heroes make up the top ten.

While legacy consideration is the determining factor of legacy potential in the table, other metrics taken into account include motivations and barriers to legacy giving.

Each charity is ranked based on its relative performance compared to other charities. On the index, a value of 100 is considered average, with over or under this number meaning the charity is over/under performing.


Legacy Potential Premier League

Top 10 for legacy consideration


In full, the table looks at:

  • Legacy Consideration: the number of people at least considering leaving a legacy to the charity divided by the number of supporters.
  • Legacy Rejectors: the number of people who say they will not be leaving to a legacy to a charity, divided by the number of supporters. A higher score on this indicates that there are less people completely rejecting the idea of leaving a legacy.
  • Motivations Score: an aggregate of the motivations to leaving a legacy for the specific charity. A higher score on here suggests that people agree that the charity has attributes known to motivate people to leave a legacy.
  • Barriers Score: an aggregate of the barriers to leaving a legacy for a specific charity (a high score is worse in this case and means people are more likely to select for the charity barriers known as likely to stop people leaving a legacy.
  • Scale of Support: a score given for the number of people who support the charity in general. This is an illustration of the overall support of the charity and an indication of the scale of their legacy opportunity.

The top ten charities for example all have a legacy consideration score over 100, ranging from 195 for Cats Protection at the top, to 140 for Cancer Research UK in fifth place and 109 for Help for Heroes at number 10. In comparison, the bottom five were British Heart Foundation with a legacy consideration score of 74, Guide Dogs for the Blind with 73, Hospice (Any) with 66, Marie Curie with 50, and Great Ormond Street Hospital with 32. 

The table also shows where there is potential for improvement. Cancer Research UK, RNLI, and Macmillan, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion, National Trust, British Heart Foundation, and Hospice (Any)for example all score over 100 for scale of support.

However, fastmap and Freestyle Marketing’s league table also highlights the competitive nature of legacy fundraising, and the fact that supporters of multiple charitable causes might be considering a legacy to more than one charity. Charities, it says, need to be aware of the barriers and motivations to leaving them a legacy, as well as the strengths of their competitors (see below for an example). This will help them to understand why their supporters might leave their competitors a legacy instead, and how then to mitigate the risks.


legacy league table

Motivators & barriers

The full table is available via the fastmap site.


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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