Nearly half of Millennials & Gen X currently considering a legacy gift

Melanie May | 11 May 2022 | News

Writing note showing Gen Z Millennials Gen X Boomers. Business photo showcasing Generational differences Old Young people Marker over notebook crumpled papers pages several tries mistakes

Research from WPNC and conducted by YouGov reveals that 44% of people in these age groups have already thought about donating through their will.

The study – Lifelong Legacy: The Value of Will Donations from Millennials and Gen X, also shows that 87% of Millennials and 70% of Gen X haven’t yet written a will, representing an opportunity, it says, for charities to build relationships with younger potential donors in order to secure their support.

Gail Cookson, Legacy and International Marketing Director at WPNC, said:


“Traditionally, legacy marketing at many charities has focused on older donors. They are more likely to have written a will and to be closely considering what will happen to their assets when they die.


“Since the pandemic, however, there has been a sharp rise in awareness among younger audiences about planning for the future, and will-writing in particular.


“We see this as a major opportunity for charities to showcase their cause and build relationships with Millennials and Gen X. Not only is this likely to increase the chance of a legacy donation, it could also boost donor value across their lifetime.”

The study also reveals that only 9% of Gen X, and just 3% of Millennials, have already chosen the charity they will leave a legacy to, and suggests that offering a free will-writing service could to be one way for organisations to build interest. 37% of Millennials seem keen on such an offer, along with 24% of Gen X. More than a third of respondents overall (36%) also say they would have used a free will-writing service from a charity if they had known of its existence prior to drafting their will.

Multiple respondents also suggested they’d be happy to make a legacy gift in return for the offer of will-writing advice.

Gail Cookson added:

“The survey uncovered enthusiasm among younger donors to receive information about both legacy giving and will-writing services through a range of marketing channels.


“But while legacies appear to be buoyant, around 30% of respondents told us they’ve never seen a legacy ad. 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.”

The study saw YouGov conduct an online survey in February among 250 UK-based people aged between 26 and 40 (Millennials), and a further 250 people aged between 41 and 55 (Gen X). The report can be requested by emailing [email protected]