Last week the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council hosted a presentation by Jeff Johnson of The Stelter Company. Jeff shared some key findings from research his company has conducted over the last few years on indicators and behavior of planned givers. I have summarized a few points below.
• Among Americans age 40+, people who currently have a planned gift in place are not significantly more likely to be young or old. However, the best prospects for future gifts are decidedly young.
• Sixty percent of your best planned giving prospects are age 40 to 54, while only 10% of people aged 70 and older meet the criteria of a “strong prospect.”
• The majority of those who have made a planned gift are married (65%).
• Planned givers may or may not make large annual gifts–the amount isn’t a key indicator. However, the majority of planned givers (78%) do make annual gifts to the charity they support.
• Over 70% of planned gifts are a bequest. Once a gift is in the will it is rarely removed.
And finally, Jeff noted that less than 10% of the population included a charity in their will, but the vast majority of people have never been approached about a planned gift. If you don’t already have a planned giving program in place at your nonprofit, it’s time to establish one. And those who do, remember to include information about planning giving in your newsletters, annual direct mailings, and at board meetings. Remind your board members and donors how they can support your organization by leaving a legacy. For more on The Stetler Company and their research, visit their website. For more information on the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council and upcoming events, visit their website.