Let’s Get to Know the Bequest Donor

According to speakers at the recent Conference and Exposition for the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC), a bequest donor will more often than not fall into one of two categories: an older, long-time female donor with grandchildren who volunteers regularly and makes frequent and substantial gifts; or an older female donor with no children who does not volunteer.

Either way, bequests are a very good source of financial support for nonprofits and fundraisers are always looking to maximize their planned giving figures.  Representatives of the Sharpe Group have some insights about the most common bequest givers that might help you get better acquainted with this source of financial support:

  • 90% of bequest donors will not tell the organization about the bequest prior to death;
  • Fewer still share the expected size of the gift;
  • Bequest donors live longer;
  • Most make estate gifts to six or seven organizations;
  • 80% of bequest money comes from people aged 80 and older;
  • Older donors make larger estate gifts;
  • They trust gifts better than wills;
  • Residuary gifts are seven to 15 times larger;
  • Longer-term donors are great prospects. Frequent donors are great prospects as well;
  • Late-in-life first-time donors are good prospects;
  • Most key donor decisions are made in the last five years of life; and,
  • Bequests from non-donors are very common. As much as 20 percent of bequests are from non-donors.

(Information compiled from “A Dozen things to know about bequests” The NonProfit Quarterly)

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