Will to Give launch new service for Northern Ireland

Will to Give, the organisation that promotes legacy giving in Northern Ireland, has launched a will notification service at their conference in Belfast. The WillGiftsNI service will for the first time inform charities who have been named in wills proba

Legacy giving is a small but important income stream for charities; currently only 3% of people in Northern Ireland who have made a will have opted to leave money to charity. But of those who have opted to leave money, 64% say it is because the charity addresses an issue that is important to them personally.

Speaking about the future launch of the will notification service, Colin Ferguson, Chair of Will to Give said, “We are very pleased to work with the Department of Social Development and the Probate Office in Northern Ireland to make this service available here. Will to Give was formed by local charities to provide exactly this sort of practical service as well as promote will-giving and to make it something that more people think about when writing their will.”

Paula Reynolds, director of Sector Matters, the not-for-profit business services company administering WillGiftsNI on behalf of Will to Give spoke of the benefits of the service to charities in Northern Ireland and across the UK, “For the first time charities will receive early notification of money left to their charity. This means they should be able to receive money more promptly and forecast future income from legacy gifts.”

Paula added “We will be able to send copies of the actual will to named charities giving them a much fuller picture of the person who has so generously thought of them.”

Neil Irwin of NICVA, Secretariat for Will to Give commented, “Will to Give is putting in place plans to analyse wills with charitable gifts to produce an accurate picture of will-giving in Northern Ireland. This is to inform future strategy for the promotion of legacy giving and to increase philanthropy to the not-for-profit sector.”

Michael Graham and Jonny Forrester, both Directors in Belfast law firm Cleaver Fulton Rankin, gave presentations at the event advising charities on the proper administration of estates for charities and giving some examples of contentious issues and the pitfalls to avoid. Michael, who is also a member of the Will to Give Executive Committee, said, “Charitable legacies are very important and more people should be encouraged to leave charitable gifts in their wills. I hope that the advice given today leaves the charitable sector better equipped to deal with what I hope will be an increasingly important source of revenue for them going forward.”

Will to Give has introduced small costs for the service that are affordable for most charities currently in receipt of legacy income. There is no cost per notification and those who wish to join the service will pay an annual subscription fee of £15 a month + VAT, while non Will to Give members will pay £40 a month + VAT. Anyone interested in signing up for the WillGiftsNI notification service or who would like more information can at this stage contact Neil Irwin of Will to Give on 028 9087 7777 or email [email protected].

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