The growing importance of legacy income

Legacy income forms the cornerstone of funding for many UK charities. Without it, they simply couldn’t provide the vital services so many people rely on.

Legacy income has grown on average by 5.1% per annum since 1988 according to Legacy Foresight. As a result, legacy professionals are currently responsible for the administration of over £2.4 billion of charitable legacy income each year. Legacy gifts are projected to contribute £13.3 billion to the charity sector over the next five years, and the ageing of the baby-boomer generation, and the resulting rise in death rates over the next twenty years, suggest this figure will continue to grow. But the baby-boomers expect a great deal from the organisations they choose to support. They are savvy, informed consumers, raised on marketing and brands. They arrange their affairs with care and consideration, and are likely to make more than one visit to their solicitors to amend their wills. When they do decide to make a charitable gift, they are likely to place greater restrictions on those gifts, and give more specific instructions for their administration and use, than our sector has been accustomed to dealing with. Legacy professionals need to be ready to respond to these emerging demands, in order to protect and build trust in the organisations they work for.

By placing an increased focus on personalisation in legacy management, and by improving our non-technical training, ILM will be in a great position to assist our members in supporting this new generation of legacy donors.