New survey reveals barriers to charitable giving

Financial advisers have revealed how they check their clients have an up-to-date will and currently discuss the benefits of charitable giving.

A survey of 174 Personal Finance Society members conducted in February showed while most financial advisers discuss wills with clients, less than a quarter of their clients currently give cash to charity even though such gifts can reduce their inheritance tax liability.

When asked why more clients do not give cash to charity, most financial advisers said many say they want to put their family first and were unaware they could also donate to a benevolent fund and still pass on cash to loved ones.

Several financial advisers said many clients were unaware of the benefits of charitable giving and inaccurately perceived bequests as being for “the rich few” rather than something everyone can do.

The poll, conducted by the Personal Finance Society to support Remember a Charity, also showed how frequently financial advisers currently discuss charitable giving with their clients.

Eight-out-of-10 financial advisers always ask their clients if they have an up-to-date will.

Wills are most frequently mentioned during the annual review meeting with 83 per cent always checking an up-to-date document exists at this point.

The findings of the research will now be used to produce good practice guidance to ensure clients fully understand the role charitable bequests can play in long-term financial planning and in supporting causes they are passionate about.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, says: “We are proud to support charitable organisations at a time when they are struggling with funding their vital work due to the pandemic.

“This is a crucial time to remind clients of the option to supports charities within their will, especially where personal circumstances may influence a desire to do so. The PFS is intending to share good practice among the membership and allow advisers to add value to their client interactions.”

“This work will allow the Personal Finance Society and financial planners to play a key role in society and provide an enhanced service to their clients and the wider society.”

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, says: “Gifts in Wills are incredibly important for good causes. Many charities simply wouldn't exist if it wasn't for gifts in wills.

“Financial planners play a key role in raising awareness about charitable bequests, communicating the tax benefits and the ease of leaving a legacy, while ensuring that clients’ families and friends are taken care of. With the public demonstrating greater appetite for gifts in wills, it is crucial that advisers support clients by offering the relevant information and guidance to help them take care of everything that's important to them."