Did you know that August is National Make-A-Will Month?
It’s a significant opportunity to increase your nonprofit’s planned gifts by making your donors aware of this. Charity Navigator has documented that 10% of overall giving comes from bequests made by Wills.
The easiest planned gift for your supporters to make is to leave a portion of their estate to your nonprofit as a bequest in their Will. Even if that gift is only 1% of a donor’s total estate, it can have a huge impact.
Even if you don’t have a planned giving campaign devoted to Make-A-Will Month, you should at least promote it several times via email, social media, and other communications. Mailing a letter as well is best practice. There are many free samples of a “include us in your Will” donor letter online if you search that subject.
You should also include this resource in your donor communications to help your donor’s plan their future giving. This free, online resource guides the donor through the process of creating a legally valid Will in 20 minutes or less.
The average age donors wrote their first Will was 44 years old and almost all (91.6%) used a legal advisor to write their Wills.
Over half (53%) of donors established their first planned gift at the time of writing their first Will.
7% of study participants felt their estate planning process was “very easy” or “somewhat easy” with another 22.9% reporting feeling neutral about the process.
The average age at which donors made their first planned gift was 52.8 years old. Among gay and lesbian donors, the average age of first gift was slightly younger, at 50 years old.
Respondents were most likely to make a charitable bequest (68.1%), followed by a charitable beneficiary of a retirement plan (29.7%), insurance policy beneficiary (18.5%), and charitable trust (18.5%). Interestingly, donor-advised funds (DAFs) surpassed charitable gift annuities in the donor sample.
The top three motivations donors cited for making a planned gift were: the importance of the cause; the belief that the nonprofit makes a significant impact; and the donor’s ability to make a larger gift through their estate than during the donor’s lifetime.