Almost half of Millennials considering charitable legacy but most yet to choose the charity

Almost half of people between the ages of 26 and 55 are considering leaving charitable gifts in their wills, but only a small minority have chosen a specific charity, a study has revealed.

A YouGov survey of 250 Millennials (those aged between 26 and 40) and 250 members of Generation X (aged 41-55), commissioned by the marketing agency WNPC, found that 44 per cent of respondents have thought about leaving a charitable bequest.

But only 9 per cent of those in Generation X and just 3 per cent of Millennials have actually chosen which organisation they would like to leave their gift to, according to the study Lifelong Legacy: The Value of Will Donations from Millennials and Gen X, published this week.

The study also found that the majority of respondents – 87 per cent of Millennials and 70 per cent of those from Generation X – have not yet written a will.

Gail Cookson, legacy and international marketing director at WPNC, said the figures represented an opportunity for charities to build relationships with younger donors and potential legators.

Traditionally, legacy marketing at many charities has focused on older donors,” she said.

“They are more likely to have written a will and to be closely considering what will happen to their assets when they die.”

But she said, since the pandemic, younger audiences had become much more concerned with planning for the future and writing wills.

The survey found that 32 per cent of Millennials and 29 per cent of Generation X respondents said they had never seen an advertisement for legacy giving.

Cookson said: “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.”

More than a third (37 per cent) of Millennials and 24 per cent of Generation X respondents said they would be interested in a free will-writing service offered by a charity.

But the report says qualitative answers to the survey suggest charities should be careful to ensure they are offering a high-quality service and that people do not feel they are being “bribed” into donating to a particular charity.

“We see this as a major opportunity for charities to showcase their cause and build relationships with Millennials and Generation X,” said Cookson.

“Not only is this likely to increase the chance of a legacy donation, it could also boost donor value across their lifetime.”

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