Don't mention legacies to Baby Boomers to secure future bequests, say DMS

Older man smiling with grand-daughter on his shoulders. Photo: DMS

Today’s Baby Boomers who are writing wills are more concerned with providing for their children than including charitable bequests. However, they are keen to make such gifts in due course.
These are the findings of research into the over 50s and their attitudes to legacy giving by fundraising and direct marketing agency DMS. The agency concludes that charities need to engage with Baby Boomers on a non-legacy level to secure any future will bequests.
Focus-group research in April at DMS’ offices with a panel of Baby Boomer donors revealed that today’s Baby Boomers are concerned about the strains that modern living is having on younger generations, especially on their children whom are struggling with big mortgages and student debt.
On the other hand, Baby Boomers are positively open to legacy giving in the future, but Wills they are making right now are prioritising their children who they foresee to be struggling. They will consider supporting charities once their immediate family is self-sufficient and financially independent.
Helen Prince, Creative Planner at DMS, said: “The post boomer cohort is the first generation that is likely to be less affluent than their parents are, and parents recognise this. This however, does not mean that the Baby Boomers are not charitable to legacy causes, but it does put an unknown timeframe on when a charity will be considered for legacy giving.”
So, as well as engaging the baby boomer group by sowing the seeds now, the agency recommends that charities focus much more on targeting for legacies as the Boomer generation hit their 70s, by which time direct families will have much more of their own wealth.
The one group of Baby Boomers who are worth communicating with right now about legacies are those who are childless, as “these make the ideal immediate prospects for legacy giving”.