Is Your Average Legacy Gift Too High?

Is Your Average Legacy Gift Too High?

Recently a client proudly boasted that their average legacy gift was very high. In fact, it may have been too high! While it’s understandable that they were proud of getting some very large gifts, it could actually point to a problem in their planned giving program. 

If your average legacy gift size skews high, it could signal a failure to reach anyone outside the low-hanging fruit of your most obvious major donors.   

What about the mid-level donors who have the capacity to leave a legacy gift? If you have people on your donor list who have been making steady charitable contributions to your organization, and you aren’t having this conversation with them, you’re missing out on your “hidden major donors.’ 

Estate gifts and other forms of planned giving—especially those from steady, not showy givers—are given because the donor has a particular affinity for your organization.  

Perhaps they’ve had a personal experience that led them to understand the importance of your work. They may be one of your volunteers. Maybe a family member has been involved and the donor has followed them to your nonprofit. Or maybe they have been the beneficiary in earlier days and now want to give back. For these reasons and more, the mid-level donor has made a commitment to your cause and has continued to give charitable contributions.  

How do you turn these mid-level donors into legacy givers? Inspire them 

They have already demonstrated that they want to make a difference in the world, that they think your organization has found a way to do that, and that they want to support you in that work.  

All you need to do is help them see the opportunity to give a gift that will carry on that history of care and commitment. The wealthiest donors are not the only ones who want to leave a legacy, and they aren’t the only ones who have the ability to do it.  

Don’t trust your mission to a handful of big donors, widen the lens to focus in on all of your faithful supporters! 

How high is too high? If you want to find out if your average gift skews high, we can help you make sense of your data. Schedule a free consultation today!