Helping your donors leave a gift in their will

Gary McFadyen
Trustee Executors

Include A Charity week 6 – 13 September 2015

Bequests are acknowledged to be one of the easiest and most satisfying ways a person can give to causes and charities. Yet only 8 percent of all giving (by value) in New Zealand happens this way. In the UK for example, its 12 percent and rising.

Include A Charity’s aim is to increase bequesting in New Zealand from $150m to $300m within six years. That means more people will be asking their lawyers for advice because more charities will be raising expectations and awareness. Furthermore, research shows that when people are prompted by either their charity or lawyer, and given assistance, there is a sharp increase in making a bequest.

Trustee Executors support the good work of Include A Charity. We promote bequesting with our clients when the opportunity arises. Naturally we want our clients’ friends and family to come first. But by simply mentioning the option of supporting favourite charities, and asking the question “have you considered including a charity,” it opens a very rewarding door.

Many people simply do not realise they can give to charities through their Will, or that a gift of any size is greatly appreciated. As already mentioned, UK research in 2014 by the Cabinet Office and the UK organisation Remember A Charity showed that when professional advisors told clients that leaving a gift to charity was an option, the percentage who did so rose from 5 to 10 percent. When clients were asked if there were any charities they were passionate about, giving rose to 15 percent.

Different types of bequests

Gifts can be anything a person owns including specific items, money, property or a percentage of an estate. There are four main types of gifts people can leave to charity:

  • Residual – The remainder of an estate after considering loved ones.
  • Percentage or fractional – A gift expressed as a percentage or fraction of an estate.
  • Pecuniary or specific – A specified gift which can be money, property or stocks and shares etc.
  • Whole estate – This comprises an entire estate and is usually left by those without beneficiaries or those wanting to achieve something very significant.

The hard work you do with your donors to encourage them to leave a gift to your charity is not over until they provide their lawyer with the full name of the charity and registered charity number. This detail helps secure a legacy to your charity. Provide this information to your donors when you’re next talking about them leaving your charity a gift.

Helping your donors leave a gift in their will



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