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Your Later Life 2021

Why gifts in Wills are crucial to the future of good causes

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Rob Cope

Director of Remember A Charity

Charities have been there for people in times of need. Now, because of the pandemic, they are struggling — but you can show your support for a good cause with a gift in your Will.


The last 14 months have been tough on people and tough on businesses. But please spare a thought for charities, too, says Rob Cope, because increasing numbers of them have had cuts to their funding and are struggling to survive.

“The charity sector has had to lay-off thousands of staff,” says Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, a coalition of charities set up to encourage gift giving in Wills. “As a result, it’s having to provide the same services — and sometimes more — with fewer staff and resources.”

The grim irony of this is that, in times of crisis, many people rely on charities for support. And the pandemic has been a major crisis that has drastically affected individuals’ physical and mental health, wellbeing and livelihoods. “Going forward, charities will be needed more than ever because they are society’s safety net,” says Cope.

The pandemic has underlined the uncertainty of life and why it’s important to protect those things closest to our hearts.

Even a small donation can make a big difference

That’s why it’s so crucial to a leave a gift in your Will to a charity (or charities) of your choice. It’s quick and easy to do — technology has simplified the process, which is why there’s been an increase of Will-writing online — and even the smallest gift can make a big difference to a good cause.

“Gifts in Wills are vital to many charitable organisations,” says Cope. “During lockdown, traditional ways of fundraising have simply not been possible, for example charity shops have been shut. So, for many charities, this type of donation represents a large percentage of their overall income.”

If there has been one positive from the last year, it’s that people have had the time to reflect on the things that really matter to them. “The pandemic has underlined the uncertainty of life and why it’s important to protect those things closest to our hearts,” says Cope. “That’s where legacy giving comes in. We’ve seen a huge increase of traffic on our website and an increase in the numbers of people who are planning for the future and leaving a charitable gift in their Wills. It’s a great way to say ‘thank you’ to those charities that have been there for you during your lifetime, show them some support, and help future-proof the things you care about.”

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