Will to Give Week 2021 – A lasting tribute to your love of animals

Will to Give Week 2021 (22nd – 26th February) marks an important week for the USPCA and many other charities throughout Northern Ireland as we shine a light on the incredible impact that remembering a charity in your Will can have on our operations.

This week is encouraging people to think about their future by ensuring they have a valid and up to date Will, and how they can continue the kindness they show to charities during their lifetime by leaving a gift in their Will.

The Individual Giving Survey 2020 commissioned by NIVCA shows that almost three quarters of the adult population donated to charity (71%) over the last 12 months – a figure which is considerably higher than the UK wide levels of 57%.

However, when it comes to leaving a gift in our Will, the Individual Giving Survey highlighted that only a small number of respondents (8%) indicated that they intended to leave a gift to charity in their Will. This is much lower in comparison to 35% of people in the rest UK who say they would leave a gift to charity after they had taken care of family and friends.

It’s worrying that only 1 in 4 people in Northern Ireland have a valid and up to date Will. Without a Will you simply cannot control your wishes or leave a gift to charity.

The USPCA’s work in the prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of suffering in animals, and the advancement of animal welfare has been greatly supported by those choosing to leave a gift in their Will and has enabled us to create the fantastic animal hospital from which we operate today.

Colleen Tinnelly, USPCA Development Manager, said, “We are delighted to take part in this year’s Will to Give Week and underline the importance of ensuring your affairs are in order should the worst happen. Over the years we have been amazed at the generosity of the public – many of whom have been lifelong supporters of our work.

“We are very proud of our network of members and supporters who have such a love of animals and a passion for improving animal welfare here in Northern Ireland. Remembering a charity in your Will is such an admirable gesture and a truly fitting and lasting tribute to your love of animals.

“As part of our work, we have also identified that many pet owners may worry what will happen their much-loved companion when they are no longer around. Understandably this can cause much concern and so we introduced our Pet Pledge Scheme which aims to give owners peace of mind by ensuring their pet is taken into our care and found a suitable loving new home.”

Gifts left in Wills are often the biggest source of income for local charities and make a huge difference to the services that can be provided but most people don’t realise that it’s even an option.  As charities continue to be impacted by the pandemic with the cancellation of the majority of fundraising events and activities, many are highlighting to their supporters the opportunity to continue to show their support by pledging to leave a gift in their Will.

Nicola Kelly, Joint Chairperson of Will to Give said: “People in Northern Ireland are very kind, and we have the highest rate of charitable giving in the UK with 71 per cent of people here giving to a charity every year. However, we also have the lowest rate of people writing a Will and therefore leaving a Gift in their Will. But we’re encouraged to see that the percentage of people intending to leave a gift has increased from 4% in 2019 to 8% in 2020.”

A gift of any size makes such a difference to your chosen charity - it really can help transform the future services and work that can be provided for the good of the whole community for generations to come.

Visit here for more information on how you can continue your kindness to the USPCA through a gift in your Will.