Men and Women Equally Likely to Include Charity in Estate Plans
INDIANAPOLIS, November 2, 2009 — Gender does not generally predict whether someone who donates to charity is likely to leave a charitable bequest in his or her will, according to a study released today by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
In addition to little difference by gender, there also was no difference in the rates of legacy gift planning between single men and single women, after controlling for other factors such as age, educational level, income and marital status.
“The Center’s key finding contradicts the conventional wisdom that the ‘typical’ bequest donor is a single woman,” said Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. “Nonprofits are likely to find that men and women with similar incomes, similar ages, and similar educational backgrounds respond with equal interest when asked to make provisions for a bequest.”
Among donors surveyed about their giving and their charitable bequest provisions, about 16 percent had a charitable bequest in their will.
The only gender-related difference found was that among people who attend religious services frequently, men were more likely than women to say they have made a charitable provision in their will.
Both men and women who had never married were more likely than married or widowed donors to have charitable bequests.
The research was funded by a grant awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and funded by its research partner, Legacy Leaders, a consulting firm with offices in Philadelphia and in Toronto, Canada.
All three types of donors surveyed—those with a charitable provision in their will, those with a will but no charitable bequest, and those without a will—cited religious beliefs as the second- most common motivation for their overall charitable giving.
Donors with a bequest cited their sense of responsibility to help those with less as their strongest motivation for their charitable giving. The third-most frequent motivation, after religious beliefs, was their belief that charities deliver services more effectively than government or for-profit organizations.