LONDON, January 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
An innovative scheme to encourage people to leave a gift to charity in their Will is set to raise millions of pounds each year for worthy causes.
Figures released on 12th December show that the initiative, officially launched in June by The Co-operative Legal Services and Remember A Charity, is projected to raise £65m a year for charities by 2015.
Traditionally in the UK, just seven per cent of people making a Will leave a legacy to a charity compared with 20 per cent in the United States.
Through this partnership, The Co-operative Legal Services and Remember A Charity are promoting the benefits of writing a Will and encouraging people to act on their good intentions and leave a charitable donation in their Will.
Already in the six months since the initiative launched, over £7m in legacies has been committed to charities by people writing a Will with The Co-operative Legal Services.
Ian Mackie, Sales and Marketing Director of The Co-operative Legal Services, said: "These figures are a really positive boost, and it's particularly good to see at this time of year as it shows the goodwill that is out there for charitable giving. People really do want to leave a positive legacy and for some good to be seen from their hard work after they're gone.
"Since launching this initiative we've noticed a significant uplift in the number of people leaving a charitable donation in their Will - indeed many people hadn't even thought of it until we discussed the options, and they were keen to rectify this.
"Through the continued growth of The Co-operative Legal Services Will writing service in partnership with Remember A Charity, these gifts look set to raise nearly £20m in 2013 and over £65m annually by 2015."
"Although many people are willing to leave a gift to charity, currently only 39% of solicitors or Will-writers discuss this option with their customers, so there's a huge missed opportunity out there. We are keen to ensure that our easily accessible, un-intimidating service will give customers the opportunity to leave vital legacies to the charities that matter to them most"
Remember A Charity promotes charitable giving and represents over 140 UK charities. Once someone has decided to leave a gift in their Will, it is easy to find the charity that is right for them using the search facility on its website.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: "These figures underline the potential for legacy gifts and we are confident this partnership will encourage more people to write a Will and care for their loved ones and favourite charities."
Notes to editors
The joint initiative supports the UK Government's objective to make the UK the first country in the world where it is the social norm to leave 10% to charity in a Will, through changing people's attitudes to charitable giving.
The Co-operative Legal Services (http://www.co-operativelegalservices.co.uk) was established in 2006. Earlier this year it became the first major consumer brand to granted alternative business structure (ABS) status under the new Legal Services Act.
Remember A Charity (http://www.rememberacharity.org.uk) was formed in 2000 and now has over 140 member charities, who work together to encourage more people to consider leaving a gift to charities in their Will, after they've looked after their family and friends.
SOURCE Co-operative Legal Services