Peter Maple has reminded us of the huge potential of fundraising through charitable bequests.
Writing in his blog, Association of Grumpy Old Fundraisers Who Know Stuff, Maple reports on research by Adrian Sargeant in the journal Psychology & Marketing. “At a time of austerity cuts to social welfare programs (that are) increasing pressure on charitable organizations … only 8% of the population include a charity in their will, a figure which has not increased for over a century.”
What’s a mystery is why this percentage isn’t growing.
Sargeant wrote that one of the motivators for donors to make charitable bequests is “identification with a charitable organization… Our research points to a clear need to recognize how this identification occurs, and the need to foster this sense of shared values in a variety of ways.”
As Paul Schervish and John Havens at Boston College have long maintained, there is a $41-trillion transfer of wealth going on between generations in America through 2052.
Schervish says, “Identification and gratitude are key mobilizing factors for philanthropy. The more donors feel they have made a difference and have met the true needs of others, the more their gratitude and identification expand and the more they are further mobilized.”
Our challenge is to engage donors to the point where they identify with the organization and feel motivated to continue their giving through their estate plans.