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Australian legends: How to make a difference by including a charity in your Will

FINAL GIFT: Brian Jenkins, pictured in his orchard in 2002, is one of the thousands of generous Australians who have left a gift to a charity in their Wills. His bequest to The Alfred Hospital allowed his family to create a life-changing cancer research fellowship in his name. Picture: Supplied

Over the past year, we have seen the dramatic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Australians, from businesses closing down to not seeing our loved ones. Charities, too, have been impacted by a decline in donations and other support, despite the increase in demand during this time.

According to The Outlook for Australian Gifts in Wills report, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have also resulted in falling average values of gifts in Wills over the past two years.

However, anticipated long-term growth in house prices and share prices means that we could expect the average actual value of gifts in Wills to recover and be around 1.3 times higher in 2040 compared to previous years.

Coming up from September 6-12 is the tenth annual Include a Charity Week where more than 100 Australian charities will come together, with the support of Fundraising Institute Australia, to encourage a national conversation with more Australians about leaving charitable gifts in their Wills to their favourite causes and to understand the impact their legacies could have.

This is your opportunity to understand how you can make a difference to a cause you're passionate about.

Include a Charity is also launching a new quiz for Aussies to find out what kind of legend they are. Through the quiz, participants will discover how their life stories, experiences and beliefs can influence the meaningful change they want to leave on the world.

"Include a Charity Week raises awareness of how Australians can make their own impact towards a better world by planning for a gift in their Will and investing funds in charities they love," said Katherine Raskob CEO of Fundraising Institute Australia.

"'What Kind of Legend Are You?' is an exciting new way for Aussies to consider the kind of impact they want to leave on the world. Are you a legend of love or perhaps compassion? This is your opportunity to understand your legend profile and how you can make a difference to a cause you're passionate about."

Bequest story: One dad's enduring legacy of hope

People choose to remember The Alfred Hospital Foundation in their Will for many different reasons. These special gifts are left so The Alfred can be there to provide the best possible compassionate care for other patients and their loved ones.

The generous gift Brian Jenkins left to The Alfred in his Will has enabled his family to create a life-changing cancer research fellowship in his name.

'Dad was a very generous soul. He just did things that felt right to him." Brian Jenkins, pictured on his tractor in 2012.

"We are so proud that Dad's passion for giving back has become a unique part of our family history," said his daughter Melinda. "The gift he included in his Will has created a legacy of hope for future generations of Australians. We owe so many of the good things in our lives to Dad."

Mr Jenkins always called himself 'a simple farmer', but he was smart, caring, and very business savvy. He loved life on the orchard and spending as much time as possible with his family and friends.

We hope that Dad's final gift and our family's story will help to inspire others.

"Dad was a very generous soul," said his daughter Nicole. "He just did things that felt right to him. He thought very highly of The Alfred and donated to the hospital over many years.

"When Dad was diagnosed with Lymphoma, he remained optimistic, despite facing such a difficult battle. We will never forget his strength and the love he showed for us during his treatment at The Alfred."

"His medical team was fabulous. We have special memories of the many little things they would do for him whilst in hospital. The team at The Alfred helped us to find a way for Dad's gift to have a big impact on the future of cancer research that also had a strong personal connection to our family."

The family established The Jenkins Fellowship for Lymphoma to fund further research and better treatments for Lymphoma patients.

"We hope that Dad's final gift and our family's story will help to inspire others to think about supporting The Alfred in this very special way," said Melinda.

If you like to find out more visit the Include a Charity website or call 1300 889 670.

This is branded content for the Fundraising Institute of Australia.