Welsh charities have seen a legacy income rise of 35 per cent between 2007 and 2017 compared to a 13 per cent rise for charities with a UK-wide remit, according to a new report from Remember A Charity.
The Welsh Legacy Fundraising Market 2019 report which was published yesterday and found that almost £20m is donated annually to charities headquartered in Wales.
The 35 per cent rise also compares to 23 per cent for Scottish charities and a 4 per cent rise in legacy income for charities in England.
This has been driven by smaller charities, with an income of less than £1m, in Wales, which are raising more money from legacies than similarly sized charities across other parts of the UK, at an average of £130,000 per year.
However, Welsh charities benefit from only 1 per cent of the total legacy income to UK fundraising charities.
The 70 highest earning charities from legacies raise a quarter of their total voluntary income through legacies, an average of £283,000 each year.
'Vibrant' legacy market in Wales
The report is the first time there has been analysis of legacy income in Wales, and Remember A Charity also plans to release a report on the Scottish legacy market next week.
The report says: “The Welsh voluntary sector is diverse, but compared with the UK market, charities are typically smaller and more community-focused.
“A strong basis of local support can indeed be immensely powerful for community-based organisations looking to grow income from legacies.”
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity said: “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 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.”
Challenges for legacy fundraising in Wales
The report also considers challenges in the legacy marketplace, with legacy fundraising often “perceived to have a low profile in Wales”.
Fundraisers shared feelings of distance from the ‘legacy heartland’ in South East England and worried their efforts were overshadowed by UK charities working to fundraise within Wales.
There were also concerns and some apprehension around broaching the topic of gifts in wills with supporters.
Cope said: “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.”