Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

More than 1 in 5 charity donors aged 40+ now say they have included a gift in their Will

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More than one in five charity donors (21%) aged 40+ now say they have included a charitable gift in a Will, according to Remember A Charity’s annual consumer tracking study. This is up from one in seven (14%) in 2010.

In addition, the study shows that supporters aged 40-60 with a Will are more likely to have included a charity than those aged over 60, at 37% versus 27% and, since 2010, rejection of legacy giving has dropped from 13% to 9%.

The Remember A Charity consumer benchmarking study, carried out by OKO, surveys more than 2,000 charity donors aged 40+ to track legacy giving attitudes and behaviour year-on-year. The latest survey took place in December 2023 and was an online survey of 2,001 charity supporters across the UK, aged 40+.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The study also found that legacy pledgers are more likely to be single and without children or grandchildren, while pledger rates are highest amongst those who are affluent, aware of the inheritance tax incentives and who have sought professional advice for their finances. 

Three quarters of the supporters surveyed (77%) say they would be willing to leave a small percentage of their estate to charity, with more than one in ten (13%) saying they would be open to leaving 10% or more of their estate. 

Lucinda Frostick, Director of Remember A Charity, commented:

“This study shows the long-term positive shift in legacy giving attitudes and behaviour, and that the propensity for giving in this way is gaining ground beyond the Baby Boomer generation, particularly for those in their 40s and 50s. This indicates that there’s great potential for continued growth of the legacy market, but it also stresses the importance of supporter stewardship.


“Legacy income is crucial for an increasing number of charities. While we can’t impact the economic environment that drives legacy values, we can positively influence the proportion of people choosing to leave a gift; by working together, and engaging with legal partners, Government and others to make legacy giving a social norm.”

Small rises in Will writing, & leaving a legacy donation

The study also shows slight rises both in Will writing, and in including a legacy donation. Almost two thirds (64%) of supporters have written a Will, up from 63% in 2022 and 62% in 2021. Of those with a Will in place, almost one third (31%) have included a legacy donation, up from 29% in 2022. Around three in ten (29%) pledgers said they added charities when making changes to an existing Will. 

Will writing triggers

The average age when first making a Will is 51 years, although more affluent individuals are more likely to write their Will at a younger age. Key life stages, such as births, deaths and marriage are the main triggers for Will-writing, with the death of a loved one featuring more heavily for younger Will-making, and retirement a common trigger for older Will-makers. 

Professional advisers play a key role in Will-writing with almost six in ten supporters (57%) saying they have used or would use a solicitor to write their Will and 17% a Professional Will-writer. Free Will schemes are more likely to appeal to younger and less affluent audiences.  

Other findings include: 

Legacy giving is one of the largest sources of voluntary income for UK charities, raising £4 billion annually, according to 2023 figures from Legacy Foresight. 

This year’s Remember A Charity Week takes place from 9-15 September.