Wealth and the Commonwealth
  Research on Cultural Life in an Age of Affluence Volume 5: July 10, 2003  



NonProfit Times Special Report: "Donor Behavior: Planned Giving Still in Early Stages"

SWRI Extended Report: "2003 Survey of Planned Giving Vehicles"


The Social Welfare Research Insititute of Boston College (SWRI) recently conducted a survey for the NonProfit Times Publishing Group using a module of questions the researchers at SWRI developed. The main questions in the module asked if the respondents or their spouses had used each of ten vehicles of planned giving, and if they had not, whether they were considering a particular vehicle, or if asked, whether they would consider using each of the vehicles. Other questions were asked about their charitable giving in the calendar year 2002, their current net worth, how financially secure they perceived themselves to be, and whether or not they had consulted with professional advisors about their long-term plans for charitable giving. In addition to the questions in the planned giving module, the survey obtained selected demographic information about the respondent and the respondent's household.

The results of the survey are featured in the NonProfit Times July 1, 2003 issue as well as being featured in their extended version on the SWRI website.

   Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to send you this update on our research at the Boston College Social Welfare Research Institute. This issue coincides with the release by The NonProfit Times of the special report, "Donor Behavior: Planned Giving Still In Early Stages." This report presents our findings on the prevalence of planned giving vehicles among donors, as well as how charities can better integrate planned giving with their donors' biographical background, and financial goals in order to generate a more conscientious approach for the allocation of their funds.

We hope this article, as well as the extended version of our report, serve to further your understanding of the potential for new developments in the practice of planned giving. If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please reply to this message with the word "Remove" in the subject line or click the "Unsubscribe" link below. As always, we welcome your questions and comments.

Paul Schervish, Director, SWRI

  • NonProfit Times Special Report: "Donor Behavior: Planned Giving Still in Early Stages"
  •   Fewer than one-third of Americans (31 percent) have designated a planned gift to charity. And, those who have a plan contribute a larger proportion of income to charity on an annual basis than those who do not. 26 percent of the population said that they are considering a planned gift in some form, with charitable bequests and donating assets the most popular method of planned giving. Furthermore, more households that donated to charity in 2002 also used one or more vehicles of planned giving, as compared with households that did not donate to charity during 2002.

    These results are among those of a study which show a large opportunity for charities to talk to donors about planned givng and help donors to shape the form the gift will take. Just 10 percent of households have discussed future charitable plans with a professional advisor, such as a fundraiser or financial planner, according to study results.

    Download The NonProfit Times report, "Donor Behavior: Planned Giving Still in Early Stages." (pdf)

  • SWRI Extended Report: "2003 Survey of Planned Giving Vehicles"
  •   In this extended report our researchers investigate more fully the use of planned giving vehicles among Americans. It is based on a national telephone survey of 1,010 respondents age 18 and older conducted by the Caravan Division of Opinion Research Corporation International (ORCI) of Princeton, New Jersey from March 13 through March 16, 2003 based on questions developed at the Social Welfare Research Institute.

    The report primarily shows that there is a substantial number of people for whom charitable giving is a strategic activity and the indications are that there is an even greater number for whom it will become so in the future. The stakes for philanthropy are high and are increasing-not just in the aggregate as a quantitative and cultural force nationally, but also at the individual household level, where charitable giving is a qualitative and biographical force of individual and family identity formation. Growth in the prevalence and potential for planned giving, which we understand as the self-reflective allocation of assets over time to achieve a conscientious array of charitable aspirations, is perhaps the leading emergent trend in philanthropy today.

    Download the SWRI Extended Report "The 2003 Survey of Planned Giving Vehicles" (pdf)

     ::  email us
     ::  visit our site

    phone: 617-552-4070