People who are six feet under sometimes do pretty funny things, including giving a donation to your nonprofit. With Halloween coming up quickly, it seems like the best time of year to talk about what to do when the dead are still donating to your cause. It’s a weird sensation to sit at your desk and realize that a) the person is definitely dead and b) they also definitely just gave you money. However, it’s important to know that for many nonprofits and universities, legacy donations are a major source of income.
Legacy Donations for Your Cause
In nonprofit fundraising, legacy donations are an opportunity that you should never overlook. While still living, donors can choose to support your work from beyond the grave. There are two main types of legacies you can set up for your organization: pecuniary legacies and residuary legacies. The first type of legacy donation is when a person chooses an amount to go your organization and leaves the set amount specified in their will. The second type is when, after the terms of the will have been paid, the remaining estate goes to the organization.
Both types of legacy donations are important and valuable for many nonprofits and universities and can bring income in much more quickly than you might expect.
Be Pro-active In Seeking Legacy Donations
For many fundraisers, the first time you receive a bequest might come as a bit of a surprise. You weren’t expecting a donation from a deceased supporter, but you received one anyway. One of the best things you can do is research your donor further. You can build a detailed report on legacy donors using the AlumniFinder Online tool. A detailed report on the donor will show assets, business ownership, and other details. The executor of the donor’s will should also be able to fill you in on why they made the donation.
With this information about your legacy donors, target more of your supporters who are similar. While it may seem dicey to talk with your supporters about legacy donations, many prominent nonprofits have done so with success and this type of donation is becoming increasingly common. Take a look at some of these nonprofit legacy donation pages for ideas:
- UNICEF Legacy Donations
- American Cancer Society Memorial and Honor Giving
- Feeding America Wills and Living Trusts
Giving can come in many different ways, including as a legacy of one of your current supporters. Using your donor database, you can target the right supporters who could be interested in this type of giving.