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In-memory givers three times more likely to make legacy pledge

In-memory givers three times more likely to make legacy pledge

People who have given in memory are three times more likely to make a legacy pledge according to research carried out by Legacy Foresight for its In-Memory Insight programme.

Benchmarking data from 22 learning circle member charities revealed that supporters with a known in-memory connection were three times more likely to pledge a legacy to the charity – and twice as likely to be legacy prospects – than standard regular donors giving via direct debit or standing order.

Legators who had a known in-memory connection to the charity also left bequests of significantly higher value. The average value of a residual legacy for a known in-memory supporter was two thirds higher than for a supporter with no known in-memory connection. For pecuniary , former in-memory supporters left double the amount.

Further data from surveys covering 4,000 adults revealed that a high proportion of legacy donors (2 in 5) had at least one in-memory gift in their will and that 3 out of 5 in-memory legacies had been preceded by in-memory support of a charity. Donations had often been made at or after a funeral – some were of substantial value.

In addition:

  • Three-quarters of all in-memory legacies were to health charities; double the percentage for all legacies
  • In-memory legacies were more likely to be pecuniary than all legacies (70% vs 61%) – possibly because these donors were also more likely to have children
  • Most legacies had been left in memory of partners, parents and in-laws, although friends had also been remembered

Sue Pedley, Head of Donor Research at Legacy Foresight, said:

“We know that an in-memory motivated gift can bring significant benefits, both to a donor and the charity, including focus and a therapeutic outlet for grief; a new reason to get in touch and the inspiration for continued engagement. But there is now hard evidence to show that an in-memory relationship with a charity may also lay the foundation for a legacy gift.

“This research proves how important remembrance is as a motivation for legacy giving. We hope that this evidence will help make the case for greater, more thoughtful investment in in-memory fundraising throughout the sector.”

In-Memory Insight is an ongoing programme to map, measure and research in-memory giving and fundraising. It sees Legacy Foresight work with a learning circle of over 50 charities who agree to pool their budgets, experiences and data to help build evidence and insight.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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