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Co-op data shows gifts in Wills up 56% in last 12 months

Co-op data shows gifts in Wills up 56% in last 12 months

Charitable donations in Wills have increased 56% in the last 12 months according to data from Co-op Legal Services.

And, during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic from mid-March to June, legacy gifts from Co-op clients increased by four-fifths (81%) when compared to the same period last year. Cancer charities saw the biggest increase, with a 77% rise, but local causes also saw a rise in popularity.

This is the third year running that cancer charities have topped the list for the most common causes UK adults are choosing to leave gifts to. However, the types of causes people are choosing to leave gifts to has seen a shift.

Local causes have seen a significant increase in donations in the last 12 months, making them the second most common charity UK adults are now choosing to leave gifts to.

In 2019 the top ten causes for Co-op clients were: cancer charities at number one, followed by animal charities, international charities, children’s charities, health, wellbeing & local causes, help for the elderly, rescue organisations, religious causes, poverty and homelessness, and hospices.

2020’s data shows cancer charities are still at the top, followed by local causes, then animal charities in third place, followed by international causes, children’s charities, hospices, rescue organisations, religious causes, poverty and homelessness, and at number ten, help for the elderly.

James Antoniou, Head of Wills for Co-op Legal Services said:

“It’s moving to see that at such a difficult time for so many, people are still including gifts to charities within their wills. Interestingly, in addition to monetary gifts, we’ve seen some unique personal effects such as a collection of guitars and a classic red mini being left to charity through Wills.

“This increase in generosity will make a huge difference to charitable causes and just shows why it’s so important for people wanting to make this difference that they do put a will in place.”

Co-op Legal Service’s data also reveals the top five unique gifts left for charities in the last 12 months:

  1. A classic red mini
  2. A collection of guitars
  3. Dental equipment
  4. A bar of gold
  5. A 2008 Bailey Ranger Caravan

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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