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A social media campaign is launched to foster charitable bequests in Spain

13 Sep 18



Strategic Projects and Philanthropy Officer
Tel.+34 93 40 31162


Communication Officer
Tel.+34 93 40 37255

25 non-profit organisations working in the fields of social welfare, the environment, and biomedical research and associated with the campaign inform the public about the possibility of including a donation to a cause or charity with which they identify.

According to data from 2015, only 1% of wills made in Spain included a charitable bequest.

“Great things can be achieved with a bequest. #CambiaLosTitularesDelFuturo” (Change the news headlines of the future) is the slogan of the campaign launched today, International Legacy Giving Day, though social medial and digital platforms. Twenty-five of the main charity organisations in Spain, among them Amnesty International, Save the Children, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, the Josep Carreras Foundation, and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), among others, are participating in this fundraising initiative.

The campaign, which will last for around a month, seeks to inform and encourage the general public to leave a bequest to a non-profit organisation. “The lack of understanding regarding charitable bequests makes people think it is a complex process. In fact, it is a straightforward inexpensive procedure that respects heirs and makes the will a means through which to make a donation to one or more causes,” explains Sonia Gómez, spokesperson for the campaign.

Charitable bequests in Spain

A donation made through a will or charitable bequest is a relatively unknown practice in Spain. According to the latest official figures published by the Colegio Notarial de Cataluña in 2015, only 1% of all the wills made in Spain that year included a charitable bequest. The donations pledged through bequests of this nature amounted to 115 million euros and were mostly for the church, and to a lesser extent, to non-profit organisations.

More information. A study by this year on a sample of 800 people in Spain indicates that 36% of the population over 25 years of age are unaware of the possibility of donating through a charitable bequest. This is explained mostly because of the lack of examples and absence of this topic in the social agenda. According to data from the same study, the percentage of people who report leaving a bequest to an organisation or non-profit entity has increased by 1% in the last five years: 2% in 2013 to 3% in 2018.

The profile of a person who leaves a charitable bequest is a single (53%) woman (62%) and member or donor of the organisation to which the bequest is pledged (69%). The bequest made is generally money, followed by property. Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country head the ranking of regions with the most charitable bequests.

“A lot of thought goes into drawing up a will. That is why, for organisations, the receipt of a bequest is a sign of trust and commitment that we greatly value and appreciate. We hope that, little by little, more people will consider this as another way to support causes that are important for them,” explains Anna Merlos, Strategic Projects and Philanthropy Officer at IRB Barcelona. In 2018, IRB Barcelona received its first charitable bequest, amounting to 1.5 million euros, which will be devoted to research into metastasis, and in recent years, more members of the public have expressed their wish to include the institute in their wills.


More information:

The following 25 organisations are involved in the campaign: Acción contra el Hambre, ACNUR, Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Amigos de los Mayores, Amnistía Internacional, ANESVAD, Ayuda en Acción, Cris Contra el Cáncer, Cruz Roja, Entreculturas, Fundación Josep Carreras, Fundació Pasqual Maragall, Fundación Mensajeros por la Paz, Vall d’Hebron Instituto de Investigación (VHIR), Greenpeace, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica (IRB Barcelona), Manos Unidas, Médicos del Mundo, MedicusMundi, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Oxfam Intermón, Plan International España, Save the Children, UNICEF España and WWF España.


About IRB Barcelona

Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 28 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).