Fewer wills means fewer bequests

Fewer people are creating wills and fewer donors are leaving charities in their estate plans than only just a few years ago, according to a new survey by The NonProfit Times. Some of the best indicators of potential planned gifts are household income, education level, and whether a donor has children.

Sally Boucher, director of research at Wealth Engine, in Bethesda, Md., had some suggestions for charities seeking to boost their planned giving:

  • Work with lawyers, financial planners and accountants to determine the best method of identifying and leveraging people’s desire to leave a legacy by giving to charity because many are bypassing the probate process.
  • Cultivate and engage volunteers – they are a valuable source of both current and future giving.
  • Cultivate a deeper relationship with married childless couples among your nonprofit’s loyal donor population is likely the best use of planned giving resources.
  • Growing levels of education represent a future opportunity for charities. Like volunteerism and childlessness, it’s a great predictor of charitable planning.