Did you know that 10% of all charity donations in the United States come from bequests? In 2019, contributions from realized bequests to nonprofit organizations exceeded $43 billion.
Bequests to charities are gifts made in a donor’s last will. They are one of the easiest, most effective, and most common ways to make a planned donation. In addition, bequests are often the largest gifts your contributors will make in their lifetimes. In 2019, 10% of all charitable contributions came from bequests.
These contributions are transformative for your nonprofit organization about the numbers: the average legacy left by a MinaWill user is over $60,000. And in 2020, despite a global epidemic, the number of bequests made to organizations through our website surpassed $1 billion. These contributions from influential benefactors will sustain your organization for years to come.
And once a donor includes a charity in their will, they are significantly more likely to give to that charity in the future. According to research, bequest donors boost their average annual contributions by more than 75 percent.
Which three sorts of bequests can a donor make to your organization?
A legacy occurs when a donor leaves a portion of their fortune to a person or organization in their will. It can consist of cash or other assets, such as shares of stock. Typically, a donor leaves a legacy in one of three ways:
- A predetermined sum of money to your organization (e.g., $10,000);
- A percentage of their overall estate (e.g., 10% of a $1 million estate would be $100,000); or
- The average bequest size in a MinaWill is $60,828.
The estate’s value remains after all other legacies and debts have been paid.
Often, a donor may designate a nonprofit organization as a legacy’s secondary or tertiary beneficiary. A primary beneficiary is an individual or organization first in line to receive a legacy, even though these terms may sound complicated. If the principal beneficiary dies before the estate owner, the gift flows to the next in line (secondary beneficiary), and so on.
Who is the most likely to leave a legacy?
Wills are a terrific alternative for all of your donors, young and old because they incur no expense throughout their lifetime. Thus, a large variety of possible donors remain. These donors tend to have the following characteristics:
Age: Over 80% of all bequest monies on our platform are contributed by donors aged 44 and older.
Additionally, persons aged 45 to 64 account for 50 percent of all charitable bequests using our platform.
The greater the value of an individual’s assets, the greater the likelihood they will leave a legacy.
Nevertheless, 12% of testators with less than $200,000 in assets chose to include bequests in their wills. This implies that many nonprofit donors are willing to contribute when provided with a convenient method for making planned gifts.
People who are unmarried, legacy, or divorced are more likely to leave a bequest and leave a substantial gift.
Over 20% of adults without children opt to donate to charity, double the percentage of contributors with children. In addition, their bequests legacies are significantly greater, accounting for around 63% of the overall value of charitable donations made on the MinaWill platform.
Pet ownership: Pet owners are 55% more likely to leave a legacy to charity than those without pets. If you work for nonprofit emphasizing animals or wildlife, you should target pet owners to secure additional bequests.
How can you begin soliciting bequests for your nonprofit organization?
If you still need to get a planned giving program, you’ll need to develop one to receive bequests. To accomplish so efficiently, you should follow a few steps. In this article on launching your planned giving program, we discuss these in length, but here is a high-level overview.
Step 1: Determine who will be in charge of planned giving.
After launching a scheduled giving program, you must select a program administrator. Even if your organization cannot hire a gift officer, someone must be the point of contact for donor queries and follow-up. This will facilitate communication and guarantee that all parties are on the same page.
Step 2: Outline your marketing plan.
Repetition and various touchpoints are crucial for getting these gifts, just as they are for connecting with your supporters about other campaigns.
Before sending outreach, you should make it extremely simple for donors to learn more about bequests. Add planned to give as a donation option on your website, or design a separate landing page to describe the different sorts of planned contributions and how to make one. Provide donors with resources that make it simple to leave a legacy, such as a sample bequest language or a straightforward will-writing process.
Also include the contact information of the person in charge of planned giving in case the donor has questions.
Step 3:Track donations and thank your donors.
Some donors need to notify the organization that they have included it in their will, making it difficult to trace bequests.
Nonetheless, we were astonished to discover that 67% of contributors on our platform chose to share their contact information with their charitable recipients. This is far greater than the norm for planned giving. When Giving USA conducted interviews with donors in early 2019, they found that only 4% of donors always tell the organization about their planned gifts, and 38.7% of donors occasionally inform the organization.
This means that most planned giving donors cannot be thanked or managed within the nonprofit sector. To tackle this issue, you can survey your supporters to determine if any have left bequests without notifying you. Alternatively, you can use a platform that tracks donor data.
Upon learning of a legacy, you must promptly express your gratitude to the giver. Acknowledge their gift’s influence on your purpose and your organization’s future. If you are establishing a legacy society, invite them to participate. This will foster community among donors and deepen their relationship with your organization.
Are you prepared to start securing more bequests for your nonprofit? MinaWill is useful.