IRB Barcelona launches #LeaveABetterWorld, a legacy gift campaign in support of research


The #LeaveABetterWorld campaign is launched to encourage people to leave part of their estate to biomedical research for the benefit of future generations.

To date, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has received more than €1.5 M through such donations.

The institute has set up a web page to encourage legacy gifts.

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) is launching the campaign #LeaveABetterWorld to attract funds to support its research. The inclusion of a legacy gift—whose international day is held on 13 September—in a will is a way to build a better world for future generations.

Anna Merlos, Strategic Projects and Philanthropy Officer at IRB Barcelona, says, “Having the commitment of a legacy allows us to carry out long-term research projects knowing that we will have the necessary resources. More and more people are taking an interest in including legacy gits in their wills as a way to support causes they consider important.”

The dedicated web page explains the campaign, invites people to visit the institute to experience the research done there first-hand, and describes how a legacy gift can make a difference. The video that accompanies the campaign collects the testimonies of people who wish to support the research developed at IRB Barcelona. In this regard, Jordi Pagès would like to be remembered “because I did my bit to improve old age”. José Navarro, in turn, wants “part of my donation to support five years of research devoted to curing metastasis". In another testimony, Esther Lao expresses her wish to leave her family “the farmhouse and research projects to prevent rare diseases”.

 

An increasing trend to foster a better society

Legacy gifts in support of social causes are becoming increasingly more common. According to data from the Col·legi de Notaris de Catalunya, in 2018, Catalonia registered legacy gifts amounting to €67 M, which represents 28% of the total amount of legacy gifts in Spain that year.

Francesc Posas, director of IRB Barcelona explains, “Individuals give whatever they can, every little helps. The important thing is that through legacy gifts we can contribute to understanding diseases and to developing treatments so that in the future it will be possible to cure diseases that are currently incurable. To do this, the support of society as a whole is essential”.

Drawing up a will is a rapid, straightforward, and inexpensive procedure that can be done in the presence of a notary to ensure that assets will be divided out following the wishes of the testator. In the case of legacy gifts made to IRB Barcelona, as it is a non-profit organisation, these gifts are exempt from taxation and the entire amount is devoted to research.

IRB Barcelona is a pioneering centre of excellence in both research and fundraising campaigns. Last year, it launched the #MetastasisChallenge campaign, which seeks to involve society and has brought about the support of individual citizens, companies and institutions, thereby reflecting the commitment of Catalan society to the development of scientific research. The campaign, which has already mobilised more than 4,000 people, aims to raise €5 M over four years for research into metastasis, the main cause of cancer deaths.

IRB Barcelona is a centre of excellence that focuses on biomedical research, which is organised into three programmes: cancer, aging and metabolic diseases, and the mechanisms of disease. Created in 2005 by the Government of Catalonia and the University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona forms part of the Barcelona Institute of Science Technology (BIST) and the CERCA network (Research centres of Catalonia). In 2011 it received the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence Award, which was granted a third time this year, with which the Spanish Government recognises research centres with highly competitive programmes.