Comprehensive review into legacy giving published for charities

A comprehensive literature review into legacy giving has been published to help charities and fundraisers wanting to make the most of the income source.

The new review, published by Legacy Voice, encompasses fundraising, psychology, psychiatry and behavioural economics. It pulls together over 160 previously published research papers into one review of why and how donors leave gifts to charity in their wills.

The report examines the area of will making, the major motivations to leave a gift to charity in a will, the influence of charity communications and the importance of ongoing stewardship.

It culminates in a legacy model, which seeks to summarise the decision making process that a donor goes through when deciding what and who to benefit in their will.

“We’d encourage anyone with an interest in legacy fundraising to draw on this review,” one of the report’s authors, Dr Claire Routley said.

“The more we can build our legacy fundraising around what we know about our supporters, the better we can meet their needs and aspirations, whilst, ultimately, raising more to help our beneficiaries,” she said.

Legacy Voice director, Ashley Rowthan added: “What this research shows us is that legacy giving is driven primarily by a donor’s personal experience and values, and that leaving a gift in a will helps us find meaning in life, and a means to live on after our death. We see that legacy giving meets a real need for people, to find new meaning and purpose in later life. Legacy giving makes people happy”.

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