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Just 25% of us plan to support a charity in our Will

19 February 2014

Survey suggests six in ten don't consider charitable giving important in Wills. 

Six in ten people don't believe it's important to leave a donation to charity in their Will, and a similar proportion don't intend to, according to a recent survey commissioned by Key Retirement Solutions. The YouGov poll of 2,064 people revealed that only a quarter of people are planning to support a good cause as part of their last requests.

The results chime with the findings of a different survey carried out by UK Giving in 2012, which revealed a decrease in the number of people giving to charity in general. And according to campaigning group Remember a Charity, only 7% of people actually leave something to a good cause in their Wills, despite almost three-quarters of people saying they support the efforts of charities in the UK. This problem is further exacerbated by the large number of people who never arrange a Will at all who may well have made some charitable provision.

Interestingly, the survey carried out by YouGov for Key Retirement Solutions suggests that people might become less likely to leave money to charity as they get older: one-third of full-time students said they planned to do this, compared with just 22% of retirees.

Among those who are planning to leave a donation to charity in their Will, cancer charities were by far the most popular cause to support, with 45% of people choosing these. Animal welfare (29%) was the next most common choice, followed by charities working with other terminal and degenerative diseases (26%), child welfare (23%) and mental health (20%).

There were some demographic trends among people's charitable preferences: for instance, people with children are more likely to support child welfare charities over animal welfare, while retired people show the strongest preference for cancer charities. Meanwhile, women are almost twice as likely to support animal welfare charities compared with men. London emerged as the region where people are most likely to support a charity in their will, with just over a third of people in the capital saying they plan to do this.

When it came to the reasons behind wanting to leave money to charity, most people overall said they wanted to support a cause that they have a personal association with (58%), while a similar proportion (56%) said they wanted to help others. Interestingly, just 5% said they would do it for tax reasons, even though charitable donations can considerably reduce an inheritance tax bill.

When deciding which charity in particular to give to, an organisation's mission statement, aims and values (46%) and reputation (44%) were highlighted as important factors behind people's decisions. However, a personal link with the charity was again cited as the most important factor (63%).
"Charities around the country depend on donations from their supporters to carry out their work, and some of the most generous contributions are often left in Wills," Dean Mirfin, Group Director from Key Retirement Solutions. "However, this data, combined with previous research, suggests that more could be done to encourage people to remember a charity when they're drawing up their last requests. Given the tax benefits of bequeathing money to charity, there are a lot of good reasons to consider this route when planning a Will."

Page last updated: Tuesday 03 July 2018