Motives behind charitable bequests


Previous studies on individual charitable behavior have paid scant attention to planned giving to unrelated individuals or nonprofit agencies. Instead, they have focused largely on life-cycle and intergenerational motives for giving between living persons and bequests to related individuals. In this paper, we examine empirically the motives behind planned, charitable bequests by donors upon death to unrelated individuals or nonprofit organizations. Our analysis of the data from the 1992 Gallup National Survey of Giving and Volunteering confirms the hypothesized roles of residence tenure status, personal beliefs and attitudes, employment status, and personal attributes in determining the likelihood of charitable bequests. We then use the empirical results to develop a profile of individuals who are likely to bequeath charitably. This information is useful to fundraising agencies in identifying potential donors. The paper ends with recommendations for improved coverage of the Gallup Survey and suggestions for future research. © 1999 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing