By LEANNE WARNER
Include a Charity is based on the successful model established in the United Kingdom, operating over many years. This fantastic ‘social movement’ invites charity groups to unite, under one umbrella, to inspire and encourage people to leave a gift to their favourite charities in their Will. As a volunteer group, we started the campaign in Australia two years ago and already we have over 150 charities working together to share this message of hope and opportunity. It is exciting to help people remember their favourite charities, and help them continue to do good work, after they are gone.
Many of Australia’s most loved charities are involved, from the RSPCA, Cure Cancer and the Cancer Council, Mission Australia, World Vision to the Red Cross and the Heart Foundation, plus many many more. Together, we are working to do what no single charity has ever been able to achieve on its own – change the way Australians think about including charities in their will.
I became part of the Include a Charity committee in 2012, because collaboration across the Non-Profit Sector is what I am passionate about. Without bequests, a number of charities, including Cure Cancer Australia, would not be able to do the work that they do. While it’s an income that we cannot plan on of course, it is vital to our organisation and to many others as it helps us to tackle bigger projects and offer services that we may not have otherwise had the capital to commit to.
Australians are regarded internationally as a generous nation. We care and we are passionate about the areas of the world and our own communities, that we want to see improved as a result of our donations. Interestingly around 75% of Aussies support charities during our lifetimes, which is an impressive number. Disappointingly however, only 7.5% of us leave a gift in our Will to a charity. Include a Charity’s aim is to increase this giving to 12%, which would create an additional $440 million- an incredible legacy for Australian charities.