Why leave a legacy to the WI?

For over 100 years, the WI has been inspiring women, helping to enrich and change their lives for the better. We are the largest women’s organisation in the UK, a trusted space for women of all generations to come together to share experiences and learn from each other.

We know the WI is greatly valued by members and makes a huge impact on their lives and on the country through our local WIs, county federations and national campaigns. Our vision is that all women should have a voice and reach their potential in whatever sphere they choose through the life-enhancing work of the WI.

Today, we stand ready to give more women the opportunity of personal development. There is especially a need to reach women across the country who have not yet heard about the WI, as well as, for example, supporting projects for women in prisons or refugee women arriving in the UK. Our vision is for the WI to offer fellowship, support and opportunity to every woman who wants it.

Similarly, we know that our campaigning work has a major impact, whether to help end violence against women, to tackle climate change or to end plastic pollution and more. By harnessing the power of our membership, we can bring positive change where it is most needed. But to do so costs money. In order to pay for future campaigns, we will also need more resources.

We are now asking our members to consider leaving a legacy to the work of the WI, so that more women can benefit from WI activities, participate in our campaigns and enjoy fellowship with likeminded women.

By leaving a legacy to this work, you can enable other women to share your life enhancing experience and to change our world for the better.

If, once you have provided for your loved ones, you are able to, please consider a legacy to the future work of the WI. Whether you choose to support your local WI, your federation or the work and campaigns of the NFWI - or all three - the WI promises to use every penny wisely to enable more women to do extraordinary things.

Jeryl Stone, Honorary Treasurer of the NFWI, has included a legacy to the WI in her will. She explains why:

“The WI makes such a difference in people’s lives and I want to see it continue for years to come. There is something for everyone and, as an organisation, it is always there for people, building their confidence to try new things and make an impact. The campaigning work is amazing and has achieved so much over the years. I hope that my legacy will encourage other members to consider supporting the WI in this way.”

Photographer: Anne-Marie Bickerton

Toto James, a member of Fulham and Chelsea WI, who has also held roles at national and federation level, is another WI member who has left a legacy to the WI. She says:

“I am a big believer in the WI. It is an incredible organisation, which works for all women. I feel very blessed to have been a part of it, as it has certainly enriched my life. I feel it is important to give something back and to help other people, especially the next generation. The WI is also a force to be reckoned with, as our campaigns have often made a big difference, for example in campaigning for equal pay or to “Keep Britain Tidy”. That’s why I am leaving a legacy to the WI in my will, so that this amazing organisation can continue its vital work for future generations. In doing so, I hope to encourage other WI members to join me, so that together we can make a difference”.

Five reasons to leave a legacy to the WI:

  • Supporting the WI, at any level, will enable other women to share your life-enhancing experience
  • Your legacy can fund vital national campaigns, or projects to reach more women, or provide bursaries to give members new opportunities to learn and develop their skills
  • You don’t need to be rich to help in this way. Many WI members have already left a legacy, not just the better off
  • All gifts in wills are tax efficient, as no inheritance tax is paid on gifts to charity
  • The WI is committed to spending every penny wisely, so you can know your gift will be well used

Whichever part of the WI you decide to support, your legacy will have a lasting impact.

You can choose whether to support your local WI, your federation or the NFWI - or even all three.

Many people now split their charitable legacies across a number of charities, so this is an opportunity to make an impact at a local, regional and national level.

If you do decide to support the WI with a legacy, please make it clear in your will where the money is to go to.

The following pages provide some practical information about will writing and the things you need to consider when making or changing your will.

Find out more about legacies:

For further information about legacies, please email fd@nfwi.org.uk.