Tate Britain, where the Legacy10 campaign was launched. © Tate

Museums could benefit from new legacy campaign

Rebecca Atkinson, 03.11.2011
Campaign aims to get 70% of people to leave legacy
A new campaign that encourages people to leave 10% of their wealth to cultural organisations and charities in their wills was launched last night at Tate Britain.

Legacy10, which is chaired by Roland Rudd, the founder of communications firm Finsbury, will benefit from tax changes due to come into effect next April that offer a 10% inheritance tax discount to people who leave at least 10% of their wealth to a charitable cause.

While 75% of people give during their lifetime, only 7% leave a legacy in their will – a third of the number of those giving in the US. A Legacy10-commissioned poll of 2,000 people found that over 80% were unaware of the impending changes to inheritance tax and that 70% would leave or would considering leaving a legacy on the back of these changes.

The campaign, which aims to reach that 70%, has already been backed by the likes of Virgin boss Richard Branson and banker Jacob Rothschild. 

Martyn Lewis, chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said at the launch that legacies were not only for the very rich but “Mr and Mrs Smith” too.

Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, also spoke at the launch. “Charitable giving is not good enough in this country – and compared to the US it’s pathetic,” he said. “Legacies are the basis for endowments that will and should sustain arts organisations in the future.”

The chancellor George Osborne and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt have given their support to Legacy10.

The campaign is being run a by a committee covering business, culture and the wider charitable sector. It intends to create “pledge ambassadors” throughout the UK to drive an increase in legacy giving.

A new scheme to encourage gifts of pre‐eminent objects and works of art to the nation will also be established next year.


The article orginally stated that the Legacy10 scheme offered an inheritance tax discount of 4%. This has been amended.


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MA Member, MJ Subscriber, MP Subscriber
24.11.2011, 14:26
Nicolas Serota of course is quite right, however, its worse still in that what philanthropic giving is made at the moment is given to our best funded and most prestigious organisations. This will not change even if the number giving leagcies increases.