People in Scotland leave more than £90m a year to charity through gifts in wills, according to a joint report by Remember A Charity, Legacy Foresight, the Institute of Legacy Management and Smee & Ford.

The report, Building back stronger with charitable legacies, explores the role of charitable bequests for Scottish charities in the current environment, featuring new market data and commentary from experts in the field.

It states that each week, 47 people in Scotland leave a gift to charity in their will. However, consumer polling indicates that there is far greater growth potential, with 42% of people in Scotland aged 40+ saying they would be happy to give in this way.

Legacy income to Scottish charities has been growing at an average of 7% per year, exceeding the 4.6% average growth rate for charities in England & Wales. Currently, around 500 Scottish charities are named in wills each year, almost two thirds of them (64%) smaller charities and community-based organisations.  

Rob Cope, director of consortium Remember A Charity, commented: “On the verge of the biggest international wealth transfer in history, Scottish supporters seem to be feeling even more closely connected to the good causes they care about, with more and more people choosing to leave a gift in their will. And, as the sector builds back from the pandemic stronger and more resilient, that income will be all the more vital.”

Meg Abdy, Development Director at Legacy Foresight, added: “Over the past two decades the number of Scottish charitable estates has grown by over a quarter, while the value of those estates has trebled.  This  means a lot more money for the causes Scottish people care about, whether that’s at a local level or to help those in need on the other side of the world. Looking ahead, these trends are set to continue, creating huge opportunities for those charities with the ambition to convey their legacy vision to a new generation of legacy donors.”