Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to leave money to charity

A legacy goes much further with ‘challenge funds’

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to leave money to charity

March 28 2010
Lindsay Macpherson

“He who dies with wealth dies with shame.” Andrew Carnegie’s famous words seem to resonate with today’s philanthropists, judging by the popularity of legacy donations made through wills (a major source of income for UK charities, averaging £1.9bn pa). Carnegie also said, “It’s more difficult to give money away intelligently than it is to earn it”, but those bequeathing a donation to The Big Give’s new Legacy Challenge Fund scheme, which launched on April 6, will see the task significantly simplified.

The Big Give’s philanthropy experts work with lawyers, accountants, fundraisers and grant makers who designate appropriate charities for each legacy donor. Collectively known as a “challenge fund”, these charities are listed on The Big Give website and the public chooses which charities they want to give to. The fund matches each donation up to the value of the legacy. The benefits of matched giving are even greater than doubling the initial sum. MD Jon Brooks explains: “We know from our 2009 challenge – which raised over £8.5m in five days – that our donors give, on average, 20 per cent more through matching. Matching also inspires new donors.”