Supporters were happy to leave legacies but they strongly objected to disclosing any of the details in conversation or writing, according to a survey by marketing agency Whitewater.
As a result, the charity will continue to encourage legacy giving but it will no longer ask donors to reveal whether they have chosen to leave legacies.
"People still believe it is very private," said Stephen George, development director for legacy fundraising at the NSPCC. "They don't understand why we want to know. It's perfectly reasonable for donors to tell us, but we should stop chasing them - it's counterproductive. The way we fundraise has to change if we are going to build our legacy income."
The new focus on legacy fundraising comes after an eight-year appeal to raise £250m for the continuing Full Stop campaign.