April 2, 2009
New Studies Concludes that Charitable Bequests Increase During Recessions
Recent studies, summarized in the Chronicle of Philanthropy conclude that charitable bequests increase during recessionary periods:
Three new studies presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference here last week seek to help nonprofit groups do a better job of soliciting such gifts by offering insights into which donors are most likely to remember charities in their wills, and why. In a study that tracked 20,000 Americans over the age of 50 from 1995 to 2006, Russell N. James III, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia, found that among people who donate $500 a year or more to charity, fewer than 9.5 percent had a charitable estate plan. “For those who think the generational transfer will automatically flood their organizations with resources, it’s time to think again,” said Mr. James. “Without putting in the hard work of generating these planned gifts, 90 percent of donor mortality will simply result in lost current giving.”
Two of the studies from which the conclusions were drawn, "What Factors Determine Why an Individual Will Add or Remove a Charitable Bequest From Their Estate Plans?" and "How Do Individuals Identify with the Organizations They Want to Support?" are available from Legacy Leaders.
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