This Remember a Charity Week, leave your mark with a gift to the University of Birmingham

Posted on Friday 21st September 2012

You can help shape the University of Birmingham’s future with a gift in your Will. After taking care of your loved ones, consider including the University when writing your Will and see how your legacy can have a transformational impact.

The University was founded on charitable giving and for more than 100 years, legacy gifts have been left to the University to help secure its future as a leading global institution. The University’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts, for example, was founded on a legacy gift.

This year during National Remember A Charity Week (17-23 September), we hope you will consider leaving a legacy to Birmingham. Now in its fourth year, Remember a Charity Week is seeking to raise awareness of legacy giving to charities, as although 74 per cent of the UK population supports charities, only 7 per cent leave money to charities in their Wills.

Legacies make a substantial difference to the University of Birmingham, with donations arriving every year from alumni and friends. How the funds are used is up to you; you can choose to ensure your legacy has a worldwide impact by supporting our researchers, making strides in globally critical issues from health and medicine to the environment; you can support bursaries and scholarships for those who would otherwise be unable to come to the University; fund work experience to develop students’ careers and life skills; or improve students’ learning experience by supporting university resources.

However you choose to leave your legacy, you will be helping us to continue to provide the highest quality education and university experience for students in years to come. Legator Dr Sheelah James (MBChB, 1961) explains, ‘I enjoyed my time as a student at Birmingham Medical School and felt that I gained much more than a degree and a rewarding career from the institution. It is hard to put into words why I have decided to leave a legacy to the University, but I felt I had been given so much, with such a profound effect on my life, that it was only right to give something back.’

There are a number of ways you can leave a legacy to the University of Birmingham:

  • Residual bequest
    You can leave all or part of your estate’s remainder, after all other bequests are made and outgoing payments cleared. This is the safest way to ensure your legacy retains its value.
  • Pecuniary bequest
    You can leave a specified sum of money.
  • Specific bequest
    You can leave a particular named item such as shares, jewellery or a work of art.
  • In memoriam donations
    Instead of funeral flowers, friends and family can be asked to make a donation to the University in honour of the deceased.

In all cases you may specify where you would like the funds to go, in consultation with the University.

Martha Cass, Major Gift Manager for Legacies adds, ‘Legacies are immensely important to us. They genuinely do help the University to maintain its presence and reputation in the world of higher education, by ensuring its financial health well into the future. If and when the time is right for you to consider a gift to charity in your Will, we would be delighted if you would consider a gift to the University of Birmingham.’

In addition to the transformational impact of your legacy gift, there are also financial advantages, as  charitable legacies are exempt from Inheritance Tax. For more information, or to discuss leaving a legacy to the University in your Will, please contact Emma Hazlewood, Legacies Officer, on +44(0) 121 414 7957 or legacies@contacts.bham.ac.uk. For more information about Remember A Charity Week, visit: www.rememberacharity.org.uk.