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Where Do Bequests Come From?

By May 22, 2013April 25th, 2014Nonprofits

I saw this article by Jerold Panas in a recent issue of the Institute for Charitible Giving newsletter and knew I had to share it with you.

Jerold writes:

“So often, a bequest comes to you from a source you knew nothing about. And, by the way, the largest percentage of bequests come from those with a net worth of $3 million and less. As I recall, it’s about 82% of the bequests.

Here are some characteristics of those who are most likely to think of you in their estate plans.

  1. Length of giving to your organization (5 or more years of regular giving)
  2. Giving to you over a long period of time (Giving may not be year after year- but gifts have been made over a long, extended period of time)
  3. Frequency of Giving (monthly credit card donors, or those who give more than once a year)
  4. Is an active volunteer (At one time or now a board member, or a volunteer in some manner)
  5. The Family has been involved in some way in the organization (Best if there is a long-time association)
  6. Few family obligations (children and grandchildren are appropriately taken care of, no mortgage, no indebtedness)
  7. Securely retired (feeling comfortable and confident about future financial situation)
  8. No heirs
  9. Been kept informed (have been on your mailing or in contact over a period of time)
  10. Has been called on regarding Planned Gifts and bequests
  11. Has requested information on making a Planned Gift
  12. Sixty-five years of age and over
  13. Recognized by your organizations (has received special recognition for volunteer service or past giving)”

This is great information for fundraisers and things to keep in mind when creating your donor communications.


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