June, 2014

Direct Funds to Smaller Charities

Most of us know about the bigger charities, like The Arts Council, Cancer Research, MacMillan, and Oxfam, but how do more local and much smaller charities manage to further their goals? Local charities, mostly small charities, are defined as those who have a turnover of less than £1.5 million. For comparison, in their last published figures, Cancer Research had voluntary income of £363 million with legacy income from wills written at around £160 million. This shows why it is important for smaller charities to make inroads into society to ensure their current awareness is powerful and also how they go about planning for the future – by asking people to leave a legacy to the charity in an individual’s last will and testament. Small Charity Week helps promote the smaller charities by helping them temporarily join together to focus the needs to give to smaller charities by a week’s activities; running this week, June 16-20, 2014. From the Small Charity Week website: Cancer Research UK and MacMillan; global development groups Save the Children, Oxfam and the British Red Cross; and animal charities such as the RSPCA and the RSPB. Humans, birds and animals gather together in the top 10. Small Charity Week celebrates and raises awareness of the essential work of the UK’s small charity sector who make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across the UK and the rest of the world. Small Charity Week is brought to you by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), who with the support of partner organisations ensure the work of small charities is recognised and celebrated. Do you know how to leave a legacy in your will to a smaller charity? It works the same way as leaving money to a large charity, with the important point being that you must have the charity’s official charity number and the relevant clause in your will, which allows the charity to change their name and address in the future, and still receive your legacy. 35% of the UK say they’d be happy to leave a small gift to charity once they’ve taken care of family and friends, so you’ll be surprised by how many people want to support a local or small charity with a legacy and not just rely on the bigger charities to take all of the funds available. Related articles Just 25% of us...

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Dumb Ways to Die Video

This video is a must-see for those who worry about the ‘silly’ things people do in life that endanger their lives. It shows you how to avoid an easy accident, or even death. You can always click here to go and watch it on their website. Before trying any of the ideas mentioned, you should, perhaps, consider organising your funeral plan...

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Before I Die Wall

Before I Die is an interactive public art project that invites people to share their personal aspirations in public space. The original wall was created by artist Candy Chang in February 2011 on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood in New Orleans. Since then, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 65 countries and over 30 languages by passionate people around the world. Now it is available as a pictorial book showing you what people have completed around the world. This inspirational wall writing and book can provide you with hope at a time when you look for aspirational thoughts. From their website: After losing someone she loved, artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighbourhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stencilled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colourful chalk dreams as neighbours stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 65 countries and over 30 languages by passionate people all over the world. This beautiful hardcover book is an inspiring celebration of these public walls and the stories behind them. Filled with hope, fear, humour, and heartbreak, Before I Die presents an intimate portrait of the dreams within our communities and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question with the people around us. You can buy the book from all of the usual places or go direct to the website. “Before I Die is merely one of the most creative community projects ever.” – The Atlantic Related articles New artwork in Milwaukee asks what you want to do before you die Before I Die – What is Important to You – Candy...

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Using Your Will to Leave Money to Charities.

Our UK Parliament has just completed a cross-party report, following the Growing Giving inquiry, creating an age of giving, where they are asking for money to be left to charities in your last will and testament. This is a matter of education and as it would appear that the majority of people do not leave money to charity in their will, although the UK is keen to give money to charity and help, support and volunteer to help charities. The report shows that people leave just over £2 billion to charities, in their wills, each year. This represents around 5% of UK charity’s total income. Nevertheless, just 6% of people leave money to a charity, even after the changes in inheritance tax in recent years. From HM Revenue and Customs website, it states; If your estate is worth over £325,000 when you die Inheritance Tax may be due. From 6 April 2012, if you leave 10 per cent of your estate to charity the tax due may be paid at a reduced rate of 36 per cent instead of 40 per cent. This may mean that by leaving money to charity from your last will and testament, you may leave more funds in your estate, after you have died. The Charities Aid Foundation is supporting the inquiry, which will hopefully lead to more people leaving a legacy to a charity in their will. At present, it is estimated that 2/3 of adults have not yet written a will. These figures increase rapidly for individuals aged under 50. There is a lack of awareness of being able to leave money to charities. When you are writing your will, this is the action that can benefit charities in the future. Related articles On the Money: The benefits of including a good cause in your...

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Would You Rent A Coffin For Your Funeral?

Choosing the right coffin is an important element of organising a funeral for you, or someone else. The make, style and cost are all important elements to the person making the decision and how it reflects upon others. Nevertheless, the coffin is going to be burnt or buried under the ground and only available, visually, for a short period of time; so what choices should you make? The range of caskets and coffins available is considerable, with prices from less than £100 to a top of the range model, costing several thousand pounds. Choose From An Undertakers Selection? You do not have to choose a coffin or casket from a selection shown by your undertaker or funeral director. Although you may be completing an emotional purchase at the time of high stress, you still need to consider your budget for the funeral among all the other associated costs at this stage of your life. While carrying out your research, you will need to know the difference between caskets and coffins. A casket is constructed with four sides and the top and the bottom; whereas a coffin is made with six sides and the top and the bottom. A coffin is wider at the shoulder space for the deceased person and slimmer along the leg length. Although the majority of selections are caskets, they are usually known as coffins. Confusing: yes? Worried about appearances? Most people would not wish to be known as cutting corners on the finances, when you choose a coffin. Also, you would not want to be disrespectful to the dead by choosing the cheapest possible model, but would they have minded and are you wasting money by spending more? In the varying price ranges, there is little distinction in the appearances between a rather cheap veneered MDF oak look coffin and the solid oak version which will cost you at least six times as much. By spending less money on the coffin, most people won’t be able to tell the difference. Going green? Rather than contributing to the cutting down of a forest, you can choose wood that has been carefully selected from a managed forest, where the wood content is constantly assessed and new trees grown in the area. Alternatively, you can choose bamboo, willow or a cardboard coffin. Not all of these will necessarily be the cheapest coffin that you can purchase, but you...

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