Charities urged to push legacies to younger audiences

will_legacyCharity marketers are missing a trick by promoting legacy gifts to older generations with a new study revealing nearly half of Millennials and Gen X consumers are considering leaving a gift to a good cause in their will.

The Lifelong Legacy: The Value of Will Donations from Millennials and Gen X report, published by WPNC and conducted by YouGov, reveals that 44% of people in these age groups have already thought about donating through their will.

Given that the poll also shows 87% of Millennials and 70% of Gen X have not yet written a will, this represents a huge opportunity for charities to build relationships with younger potential donors in order to secure their support.

WPNC legacy and international marketing director Gail Cookson said: “Traditionally, legacy marketing at many charities has focused on older donors. They are more likely to have written a will and to be closely considering what will happen to their assets when they die.

“Since the pandemic, however, there has been a sharp rise in awareness among younger audiences about planning for the future, and will-writing in particular.

“We see this as a major opportunity for charities to showcase their cause and build relationships with Millennials and Gen X. Not only is this likely to increase the chance of a legacy donation, it could also boost donor value across their lifetime.”

The study also reveals that only 9% of Gen X, and just 3% of Millennials, have already chosen the charity they will leave a legacy to.

Offering a free will-writing service seems to be one way for organisations to build interest: 37% of Millennials suggest they are keen on such an offer, along with 24% of Gen X.

More than a third of respondents overall (36%) admit they would have used a free will-writing service from a charity if they had known of its existence prior to drafting their will.

And when pressed further, respondents suggested they would be happy to make a legacy gift in return for the offer of will-writing advice.

Cookson added: “The survey uncovered enthusiasm among younger donors to receive information about both legacy giving and will-writing services through a range of marketing channels.

“But while legacies appear to be buoyant, around 30% of respondents told us they’ve never seen a legacy ad. The most likely reason – particularly among Millennials – is that they are not currently targeted by legacy marketing. Charities must therefore consider different ways to target this audience.”

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