As I prepare to stand down as Director of the Society, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the 1,200 individual Fellows and members, trusts and foundations, and companies who have donated funds – large and small – to support the Society’s work and our development since I took up the post in 1996. In total this amounts to more than £35million and it has been fundamental in enabling our work to advance geographical science to reach new heights.
The time, expertise and enthusiasm of our volunteers have been equally important – from committee members to Ambassadors, journal and grants reviewers to Discovering Britain walk creators, Collections volunteers to accreditation assessors and many, many more. The numbers have grown remarkably to more than 3,000 individuals in 2017 alone. Thank you one and all.
The story of this most recent phase of the Society’s development is described in a new booklet by John Price Williams called the Voice of Geography, which is available on our website. This is a companion to the Home of Geography booklet about the history of Lowther Lodge and both are good reads.
The challenge we now face is how to sustain the Society, our work and our growth in perpetuity. Many of us will want to see future generations being inspired about our amazing world through first-class fieldwork and expeditions; everyone able to learn about the world’s challenges from independent experts; and society in general reaping the rewards of new research and discovery. The future of geography as a discipline will also need to be safeguarded and nurtured – and nowhere does that better than the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
With this in mind, I would like to encourage you to think of leaving a legacy to the Society. You can chose to support our activities and growth in perpetuity with a gift to the endowment fund, or you can allocate your legacy gift to support specific areas of our work.
Legacy gifts are exempt from inheritance tax and are deducted from your net inheritance tax liability. Should you decide to give more than ten per cent of your net estate to charity, then under current legislation this can also lower your inheritance tax liability from 40 per cent to 36 per cent.
To find out more about how you can give to support the future of both geography and the Society, please visit the legacy pages of our website or request a legacy leaflet.
I am proud to have pledged a legacy to the Society in my will, and I hope you consider doing so as well.
“Leaving a gift to the Society is my way of saying ‘thank you’ for the enjoyment of learning more about this wonderful world of ours. I hope that in some small way this will help it to continue its important work” – Pamela Bowman, FRGS
“The Society is the key standard bearer for all of us who care about the Earth. Its role as a conduit for knowledge, exploration and human endeavour is as important as ever. The legacy we leave serves as an enduring tribute to our own lifelong interest” – Stephen Jones, FRGS
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