Everything research can tell us about legacy giving

Develop effective donor-centred fundraising strategies that raise more money through gifts in wills and estate plans, with our extensive literature review into legacy giving.

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Get your free copy of our legacy giving literature review, 2022 edition.

With legacy giving on the rise across the world, there is a significant opportunity for charitable organisations to engage their donors in a conversation about what they want to pass on to future generations. Yet so many say they lack the knowledge, tools and confidence to do that well.

At Legacy Voice have a vision to inspire a million people to leave gifts to a charitable cause in their will, and leave the world a better place. To do that, we aim to resource and support any organisation wanting to talk to their donors about legacy giving.

So we commissioned a major literature review (a world’s first actually), and asked some of the leading academics in fundraising to pull together everything that research can tell us about legacy giving.

The result is an in depth report, compiled from more than 150 papers across fundraising, marketing, sociology, psychology and behavioural economics. And we’re making this available to the not-for-profit sector completely free of charge (because we’re lovely like that).

Of course, if you need any help putting this into action you know where to find us.

Meet the researchers

In partnership with leading legacy and philanthropy researchers at the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy.

  • “It was great to work with Legacy Futures on this project. Over the last decade, our knowledge about who gives gifts in wills and why has increased dramatically – and bringing this disparate information into a single, accessible resource will be extremely helpful for legacy fundraisers”.

    Professor Adrian Sargeant

    Professor Adrian Sargeant
  • “We’d encourage anyone with an interest in legacy fundraising to draw on this review. 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”.

    Dr Claire Routley

In this report you will learn

  • How legacy giving meets a deep need for donors, makes them feel happier and promotes positive ageing.

  • People of all ages can and do leave gifts to charity and non-profits in their Wills and estate plans.

  • Understand how to identify those more likely to consider a gift in their Will or estate plan.

  • The main motivations that drive legacy giving, and the ways donors reflect and decide which causes to leave money to.

  • Learn how legacy donors scrutinise organisations before deciding on who and what to leave money to. And how you need to behave to encourage more gifts.

  • Find out which charity communications influence legacy giving, and how to encourage more donors to leave legacy or bequest gifts.

  • Understand the importance of good stewardship, and ways to build long lasting relationships with supporters increase the numbers of legacy gifts.