Although bequest income accounts for 9% of overall giving in the United States many nonprofits continue to focus their solicitation efforts on the very wealthy, ignoring the bulk of the fund-raising database. In this study the authors work with three large nonprofits operating bequest societies and using direct marketing to solicit gifts from across their fund-raising database. They compare the profiles of their bequest pledgers with nonpledgers to determine whether individuals willing to offer a bequest may be demographically or attitudinally distinct. Developing a discriminant function they correctly classify 77.1% of 624 respondents to a postal survey of 3,000 donors and/or pledgers. Legacy pledgers appear significantly more likely to be seeking a means of reciprocation, are more concerned that the organization be performing well, and are more concerned with the quality of communications they receive. The fund-raising implications of their analysis are explored.
Sargeant, A., Wymer, W., & Hilton, T. (2006). Marketing Bequest Club Membership: An Exploratory Study of Legacy Pledgers. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35(3), 384-404. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764006290788