A 2009 report (I realize it’s a bit dated) in Financial Services Review, found that the number of charitable estate plans steadily increased among Americans aged 55-64 between 1996 and 2006. The report analyzed the trend of 41,965 Americans in a study authored by Russell N. James III (University of Georgia), Mitzi K. Lauderdale (Texas Tech University), and Cliff A. Robb (University of Alabama).
According to the authors, “this increase was driven in large part by higher levels of education and childlessness and by an increasing propensity for those without children to make charitable estate plans.”
Furthermore, the report found a dramatic decrease in fertility. “The average number of children and grandchildren decreased. This decrease was not just the result of respondents having fewer large families, but was also accompanied by a large increase in the number of respondents having no children. This increase in childlessness would be expected to have a significant impact on charitable estate planning as it avoids the presence of a competing beneficiary.”
Keep in mind that competition for planned gifts is heating up. Other organizations are investing more money in planned giving marketing. So while the number of charitable estate plans is increasing, you should not expect an avalanche of funding unless you take the necessary steps to promote planned gifts effectively.
Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!