Include a Charity Week aims to spark a nationwide conversation on bequests in wills and encourage a lasting impact with this year’s theme: Will Wonders Never Cease.
Include a Charity Week is a social change campaign promoting legacy giving and encouraging Australians to pledge a gift in their will. Spearheaded by the Fundraising Institute of Australia, the campaign is aligned with international legacy weeks worldwide. It has a phenomenal impact on charities, non-profits, and the causes they work so hard to support.
Every year, through the initial week of 4-10 September more than 100 charities nationwide unite for Include a Charity Week.
This collective effort spotlights the significance of incorporating charitable gifts when writing a will while motivating individuals to establish their own will.
The theme for this year, “Will Wonders Never Cease”, was developed to spark a nationwide conversation, encouraging Australians to consider leaving charitable gifts in their wills for causes they hold dear. The theme also underscores the notion that drafting a Will and including a gift reinforces our hopes of leaving an enduring legacy and impression on the world and our loved ones.
Helen Beeby, Campaign Director of Include a Charity, says: “As humans, we love the concept of leaving a legacy. Of making our unique, indelible mark on the world. A stamp that persists long after we’re gone and sets a positive, optimistic example for future generations.
“Including a gift in your will is a commitment to the longevity of causes you care about: be it curing diseases, supporting the arts, helping animals, defending the vulnerable or protecting our environment. Essentially, your Will represents your final opportunity to influence this world significantly – to truly bring about a remarkable change in the world.
“By leaving a gift in your will to a cause that’s close to your heart, you’ll help ensure it’s able to continue its vital work,” Helen added.
“It’s an investment in humankind, a stake in our collective long-term future. Loved ones should come first in your will, but the money you leave to charity is an investment in a kinder, more inclusive tomorrow.”
The latest Include a Charity Strategic Annual Report 2022 found that the past decade has seen a remarkable doubling of gifts in wills for charities. Resulting in an average of $445 million in bequest contributions a year. These statistics still lag the respective gifts in wills funds raised in other nations – and the Australian government wants to change that.
“As Australia sets forth its ambitious goal of doubling charitable gifts to achieve $30 billion by 2030, raising awareness about bequest giving becomes even more pronounced.
“With Include a Charity Week, we aim to foster a societal shift by encouraging open discussions about will drafting and including charitable gifts, along with encouraging the legal fraternity to reference the option in their Will consultations,” Beeby said.
“It is often the largest gift a person will ever make, particularly if they leave a percentage of the residual of their estate after loved ones are taken care of. Succession and estate planners can facilitate and navigate the process smoothly for families.”
During this year’s IAC Week, prominent Gift in Wills and legacy experts from the UK, Ashley Rowthorn, CEO, and Dr Claire Routley of Legacy Futures, will present a range of in-person and virtual events for fundraisers in Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne.
Dr Claire Routley, Head of Consultancy at the UK’s Legacy Futures said: “I am thrilled to join this impactful week, fostering meaningful conversation about gifts in Wills and legacy giving. To transform legacy fundraising, we need to be able to have conversations about gift in wills at all levels of our organisations and with all groups of supporters. Gifts in wills encapsulate life stories, mirroring personal experiences, cherished relationships, and foundational values.
“Legacy giving can be hugely rewarding both for the supporters who give these gifts and in furthering the wonderful work that charities do. I am excited to share my learnings and insights about this industry with Australian charities.
“We are encountering the most substantial intergenerational wealth transition in history.
As more and more people are open to making gifts to charities through their wills and through in-memory giving, there’s no better moment for charities to consider how better to offer these opportunities to their audiences, as a way that they can continue their support of their work, long into the future.
“I look forward to working with Australian charities, helping them unlock their potential and embrace the opportunities presented by gifts in Wills fundraising,” Ashley Rowthorn, CEO of Legacy Futures, added.
Australian charities behind the campaign cover a broad spectrum of causes.
These events will delve into the future of gifts in wills fundraising, examining how demographic shifts, technological advancements, and changes in marketing are influencing the market. Through engaging workshops and insightful presentations, they will guide charities and their programs toward the next phase of gifts in wills fundraising, aimed at the upcoming generation.
Australian charities behind the campaign cover a broad spectrum of causes and aspects of the community, from medical research, education, animal welfare, the environment, the arts and more.
Include a Charity and the FIA encourages people to leave a gift in their will and, over time, make it the norm for many – not just a few.
For more information on Include a Charity Week, visit www.includeacharity.com.au
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.