Here are some basic facts about legacy giving that show how important this income stream is to UK charities:
Legacies provide over £2 billion of charitable income annually.
Legacy income currently represents 34% of the total fundraised income of the top 10 charities in the UK.
Although 35% of adults aged over 40 in the UK say they would give a small percentage in their will to charity and 74% support a charity during their lifetime, the current total legacy income comes from only 7% of the population.
My Christian giving research conducted in 2009 with members of the Evangelical Alliance UK showed that:
Eight out of ten evangelicals are likely to have made a will.
Only four out of eight evangelicals have included a charity in their will.
43% of evangelicals said that they have included a charity in their will compared to 26% of them who had done so a decade ago.
Evangelical donors in the 75+ and 65 – 74 age groups are most likely to include a charity in their will.
The least likely to include a charity in their will are donors from the 45 – 54 age group.
Donors who are single are more likely to include a charity in their will than married donors. (65% vs. 39%)
Why do donors leave legacy gifts? - Here are some reasons to consider:
Legacy donors believe in your charity’s mission. They are inspired by what your charity does to impact lives.
Legacy donors are likely to have first hand experiences of your work. They might have served as missionaries, or volunteers. They might be previous board members, staff or past supporters.
They trust your charity. They know that you will be a good steward of their gifts.
They feel that they have a relationship with your charity and that they know your charity.
They are people who enjoy giving and who want to help people in need.
They are likely to think highly of your cause. They think of your charity’s leaders as men and women of integrity.
They appreciate your charity’s work, how you treat beneficiaries, how you help peoplem share the Gospel etc.
They feel that a legacy gift is a way of honouring the memory of a loved one, a parent, a sibling, a family member who has been involved in your charity or has benefited from your services.
How are you going to use these facts and insights to shape up your strategy and resources on legacy giving?