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The Remember a Charity Campaign

At weekends, I like to listen to the radio with Classic FM being one of the stations that I tune into. Anyone who listens regularly to that station will know that adverts for charities often feature. World Vision (one of my personal favourites) has featured regularly pretty much since Classic FM started. I am intrigued by radio as an advertising medium in this visual age. The charity adverts interest me, but then I am looking for blogging material; however, apart from filling the space between music tracks do they really appeal to most listeners? Perhaps I can explore the idea further in a future blog. 

Last weekend Michael Buerk was promoting the Remember a Charity Campaign to encourage people to think about including a charity bequest in their Will. This campaign ran twice on TV in 2006, with apparently no small measure of success. After the second run it was estimated that amongst the target audience (adults aged 45+) almost half said they were likely to consider a gift in their Will to charity. So cause for congratulations all round – well not quite. The catch is that half of all Britons have not made a will. So people seem to like the idea, but getting them to do it is much more difficult. (Perhaps that is just like every other facet of charitable giving.)

All of us who give regularly to charity have had one or more of our favourites write to us an ask if we have consider leaving them a bequest. They are generally sensitively done, because this is a sensitive subject. However, I believe that charities have 2 big problems in this area. Firstly those who have a will already do not review it very often (if at all), and we are reluctant to change our wills because of incurring solicitors fees. So maybe it is time to work on the legal profession to provide low cost will writing or will amendments for adding charitable donations. Secondly, how do charities tap into the 50% of people who do not have a will? Some of them will get around to having one drawn up eventually, but others will not. Perhaps the Remember a Charity Campaign might like to look at another round of advertisements to promote will writing thus promoting action and not just intent. With the Treasury’s recent announcement on Inheritance Tax the time may just be right. Your heirs can now keep more of your money so why not let your favourite charity share that good fortune when the time comes?          

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