Brits want to be remembered for generosity and humour rather than wealth and work

13 September 2018        

Category: Fundraising

We're encouraging people to consider the legacy they leave this Remember a Charity Week.

man carrying boy on his shoulders laughing with male grandparent

Brits may have be known for having a ‘stiff upper lip’, making sarcastic jokes and avoiding eye contact on the tube but a new survey we've conducted reveals Brits are a lot warmer at heart than the stand-offish British stereotype might suggest.

The figures show that nearly half (48%) of us want to be remembered for our kindness above all else, while a third of us want to be remembered for our family values (33%) and humour (29%).

'It's not what’s in the bank that matters'

In comparison, materialistic and professional achievements are valued less. Just one in eight (13%) people want to be remembered for their work and only 1 in 25 (4%) want to be remembered for their wealth.

The survey shows that the majority of us are determined to cement this reputation now, with seven in ten people (71%) saying they wish they could do more to help others. This could be volunteering (31%), giving to a charity or service they’ve benefitted from (23%) or donating an organ (22%). Brits are also conscious of the legacy they leave behind, with half (50%) saying they want their will to give financial security to their family and a quarter (25%) saying they want it to improve the lives of others. Around one in five (19%) people say they intend to leave a gift in their will to a cause that means a lot to them.

Will Power

We're releasing these figures to mark our Will Power campaign, and encourage the everyone to consider leaving a gift in their will, as a way of making a meaningful difference to the 7 million people living heart and circulatory diseases in the UK.

More than a quarter of all cardiovascular research in the UK is powered by the ‘amazing individuals’ who have remembered the BHF in their Will. These gifts have been instrumental in halving the number of people dying each year from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK over the last 50 years.

Leaving a charitable gift in a will is a respected choice by loved ones with many people saying they would feel proud (30%) and admiration (22%) if members of their family made this choice.You can find out more about how to leave a gift in your will by reading our free guide to wills. 

Heart and circulatory diseases including heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and conditions that increase their risk, such as diabetes, devastate millions of families across the UK, and for many, there are few treatments available. 

“I’ve seen the life-changing medical breakthroughs made possible by gifts in Wills”

Professor Costanza Emanueli, Chair in Cardiovascular Science at Imperial College London, said:

“The BHF has funded my research into heart and circulatory disease for 13 years. This means I’ve seen first-hand the life-changing medical breakthroughs that have been made possible by people leaving gifts in their Wills.

“I’ve been so inspired by the research the charity funds, that I’ve decided to commit a gift in my own Will. I’m honoured that I can continue to support the life saving research the BHF funds and play a part in further advances in the field of cardiovascular science.”

So ask yourself, what do you want to be remembered for?

Find out more about leaving a gift in your will