A study conducted by a scholar at the Center on Philanthropy (Indiana University), found that:
- People who named charities in their wills gave more than twice as much annually (more than $2,000 on average) than those who did not.
- Individuals who said they would consider naming a charity in their wills also gave on average about $500 more annually than those who would not consider doing so.
Other findings from the study included:
- The people who are most likely to consider adding a charity to their wills are well educated (they hold at least a bachelor's degree); are middle-aged (age 40-60); and report that they are motivated by "doing good" and "doing what is expected."
- Very few current donors have arranged to leave a gift to a charity in their wills.
- One in three of those who have not added a gift to charity in their will said they would consider doing so.
- Income was found to not affect the likelihood that a donor would bequest, or consider bequesting.
Recommendations from the study include:
- Fundraisers should focus on younger individuals for charitable bequests. Individuals between 40 and 60, the Boomer generation, were found to be a significant share of those who have already named a charity in their will and also those who are willing to consider making a bequest.
- Just ask. Only nine percent of people with a bachelorâ€™s degree indicated that they currently have a charity in their wills while thirty-nine percent indicated they would consider naming a charity in their wills.
- Think about a giver's motivation. A unique combination of â€œdoing goodâ€ and â€œdoing what is expectedâ€ seems to motivate likely bequesters.
- Fundraisers should not focus only on those with high incomes. Regardless of income, fundraisers have between a one-in-three and one-in-four chance of speaking with an individual who would consider giving to a charity in a will.