The authors assembled a panel of five US nonprofits currently engaged in the solicitation of legacy gifts. Working with these five partners we designed a quantitative research study with the following objectives, namely to:
a) Identify factors that prompt an individual to offer a bequest.
b) Identify the environmental triggers that might prompt an individual to offer a bequest (e.g. prompting by a professional, prompting by a charity, loss of a loved one etc.)
c) Identify the best prospects for legacy/bequest 'asks'.
d) Identify how various categories of 'bequest ask' communications are perceived by donors.
e) Identify the relationship between stated intentions to pledge and actual bequests made. It is interesting to note that the direct marketing agencies working with lower value bequests in the UK estimate that over 80% of pledgers are lying and fail to follow through on their promise. In our own academic study conducted in the UK, the figure was found to be much smaller. We could identify no related studies on this topic to date in the US.