Include a Charity Week
More than 100 of Australia’s most-loved charities join together for one week in September to ask one single question – Would you ever think about including your favourite charities in your Will?
Learn more about the Include a Charity campaign.
From September 11-17, Include a Charity Week aims to raise awareness of just how important charitable gifts in Wills are to the work of all of Australia’s favourite charities. The awareness week provides an opportunity for charities all over the country to showcase how gifts left to them in their supporters’ Wills have made a huge contribution to the Australian community.
While 87 per cent per of Australians support charities in their lifetimes, only a very small number – 7.5 per cent – actually decide to include gifts to their favourite charities in their Wills.
Include a Charity seeks to change this by helping to inspire more and more Australians to think about remembering their favourite causes in their Wills. The aim of the campaign is to increase the percentage of people who leave a gift in their Will to charities from 7.5 per cent to 12 per cent. If this were to happen, we estimate that an additional $440 million would be made available to charities each year for them to continue doing their great work.
Many of Australia’s most respected charities support the annual campaign, including the Stroke Foundation, Australian Red Cross, Cancer Council, Amnesty International, Mater Foundation, RSPCA, the Salvation Army, Legacy, Fred Hollows Foundation, the Smith Family, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Guide Dogs. Together, all of these charities are working to do what no single charity can do on their own: change the way that Australians think about including charities in their Will.
Ross Anderson is the Gifts in Wills Manager here at the Stroke Foundation, one of more than 100 charities involved in Include a Charity, says: “Include a Charity encourages people to think about philanthropy, what causes are important to them, and what a gift in their Will could accomplish. It’s another way people can support the causes they care about and make an impact after they are gone.”
Here is a short video that highlights the story of three people and the reason that they were inspired to include gifts to their favourite charities in their Wills
“Without gifts in Wills many charities would not exist. For example, gifts in Wills contribute over 15% of the income we receive each year here at the Stroke Foundation.”
“These gifts are absolutely vital to helping continue the great work that charities are doing. Many of Australia’s most-loved charities rely on gifts in Wills to help them carry out their essential work in the community,” adds Ross.
A common myth is people think they have to be wealthy to include charitable gifts in their Wills, but Ross says this isn’t true.
“Absolutely anyone can include a gift to a charity in their Will. Many of the gifts we receive from Stroke Foundation supporters are modest. Each and every gift that we receive means that we can continue to support stroke survivors long into the future and stop the suffering that stroke causes.”
Since Include a Charity was established in 2011, discussing charities when drawing-up or updating a Will is becoming a popular topic of discussion between Australians and their solicitors. Yet still only one in five Australians has ever considered including a gift to a charity in their Will.
Around Include a Charity Week we will also be contacting more than 3,000 solicitors across Australia to help them in educating and engaging their clients about leaving a legacy in their Will.
“It’s wonderful that more and more people are considering including their favourite charities amongst the beneficiaries that they name in their Wills. However, we still want to inspire the 92 per cent of Australians who haven’t done it, to give it some thought,” said Ross.
“All we’re asking Australians is, please can you consider remembering your favourite charities when you go to make or next update your Will? Your solicitor can help you.”
Find out how you can leave a lasting legacy to help fight stroke long into the future.