More Welsh charities are benefiting from gifts in Wills

12 June 2019

Legacy income is on the rise in Wales and smaller charities are punching above their weight, according to our new report ‘Welsh Legacy Fundraising Market 2019’ released today.

View the English report

View the Welsh report

Almost £20 million is being donated to the top legacy-earning charities headquartered in Wales annually. These 70 charities raise one quarter of their total voluntary income through legacies, at an average of £283,000 per annum.

The report – the first to focus on the Welsh legacy market – recognises that large charities earn the majority of legacy income, but that the smaller charities in the sample (with annual income below £1 million) play a particularly significant role in the Welsh landscape, raising more funds through legacies (£130,000 per annum) than similarly sized charities across other parts of the UK.

Although charities in Wales generate a relatively small proportion of the total UK legacy income, this research shows that income is growing faster than in other UK nations. Welsh charities have seen a real-term legacy income rise of 35% from 2007-2017, compared with 23% for charities in Scotland, 13% for those with a UK-wide remit and 4% in England.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity says: “What strikes me from this report and our interviews with fundraisers in Wales is how vibrant the Welsh market really is. It’s fantastic to see how fast the market is growing and strong performance among smaller charities, particularly when the nation that has such a large proportion of community-based organisations. With more charities coming to the table and fundraising for legacies, there is huge potential for further growth.

“We hope that this research will provide the Welsh fundraising community with greater insight and inspire a real sense of confidence among those seeking legacy income.”

The research was conducted by Dr Catherine Walker, director of The Researchery, and Cathy Pharoah, visiting professor of Charity Funding, Cass Business School. Dr Walker says: “This research demonstrates the importance and resilience of this form of planned giving to good causes across Wales. There’s been very little data on the Welsh legacy market before now and this should help fundraisers not only understand the market a little better, but help communicate the potential for legacies to their managers and boards.”

Challenges facing fundraisers in Wales

The report also highlights challenges in the marketplace, with fundraisers voicing concerns that legacy fundraising is not always an area of strength, that they feel distanced from the ‘legacy heartland’ of South East England and worries remain of being overshadowed by UK charities fundraising on their turf. As is the case across the UK, there remains some apprehension about broaching the topic of gifts in Wills with supporters.

Cope continues: “Our focus now is to boost the support we can provide for fundraisers in Wales, developing a new suite of resources that will help to build the confidence and skills needed to implement a successful legacy fundraising programme. This will include introducing legacy marketing toolkits for members and a webinar series before the end of the year.”