Charity Legacy Givers Live Longer

New research has indicated that those who leave a legacy to a charity in their last Will and Testament will live longer than those who do not. The research, undertaken by the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund, shows that, on average, those who leave a charitable donation in their Will can expect to live for an extra three years compared to the national average.

The FSNBF – the UK’s fire charity supporting injured Firefighters – conducted the research into the charity sector to investigate if the 2004* Radcliffe research was still relevant. The 2004 research claimed that the average age of life expectancy for charity legacy givers (known as legators in the sector), was 82 years against the UK life expectancy of 79.
The new research shows that this three year gap still exists and suggests that the following results can be drawn from this:

• Those who leave a charitable donation within their Will have a life expectancy of over three years more than those who do not.
• Those who leave a charitable donation within their Will to non-Hospice charities are likely to live for over ten years more than those who leave a legacy to a Hospice charity.

Emma Longden, the Legacy Advisor for the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund explains these figures: “As the charity for injured Firefighters, we hold regular focus groups and large scale research projects to allow us to understand the kinds of people that leave a charitable donation within their Will.

“Those who pledge to leave a charitable legacy often become involved with the charity in a fundraising capacity. The additional activity this provides gives the individual great mental and physical stimulation, which can provide a greater sense of clarity and purpose in their lives. This also provides a greater social community for the individual to interact with, which our focus groups have referred to as “a new beginning” and “putting the fun back into life””.

“Our focus groups reveal that those who have pledged a donation within their Will are often very aware of current affairs and particularly health concerns, which can assist in a healthy old age. As a charity for both serving and retired Firefighters, we regularly update our older beneficiaries with vital health advice to ensure these retired heroes are supported after a lifetime of supporting the public”.

“The discrepancy between the average age of Hospice Charities and Non-Hospice Charities can partially be explained by a number of tragically early legacies being left by people attending these hospices and leaving a donation in their Will.”

Emma explained the vital importance of these legacy charitable donations to the charities they support: “Charitable legacies have become a critical part of many charities’ annual income. Legacies are a final way of showing appreciation and respect to a charity and they enable the charity to carry out its life changing work for its beneficiaries.

“At the FSNBF, one such legacy last year enabled the building of a new Therapy Centre, which rehabilitates injured Firefighters back to saving lives. The gentleman in question, Jim Mead, will remain forever immortalised and this is an incredible way of putting something back into the community.”

For further details on how you can leave a legacy to remember, see