Where is planned giving heading in 2013 and beyond?

Yes, we all know that this country is getting much older.  But, we also know that planned giving in general has slowed down tremendously since the start of the recession in late 2008.  If you are interested in seeing charts on recently updated data based on VSE annual surveys on the 1,000 colleges and universities that report their numbers each year, click on this link:

Trends in Planned Giving – Higher Education 2005-20012

This is the power point that I used on my first video blog (click here to check out the video blog post!).

So where is planned giving heading?  From looking at the charts, it looks like we are currently seeing a drop in bequests!  In terms of numbers of bequests (less people passing away?).  And, a lower average size bequests since 2008 (reflection of lower stock market?).

What happened to the wealth transfer?  Well, haven’t seen bequests from baby boomers, yet.  Give it a few years and get your planned giving act together!


  1. PLANNED GIVING TODAY readers will recall from our April 2012 issue (“Is Death Taking A Holiday?” by Barlow T. Mann) that the age-adjusted death rate in America has dropped steadily from 872 per 100,000 in 2000 to 741, an all-time low. As to the intergenerational wealth transfer and its 20-year expectation of $1.7 trillion for charity, at 60 percent through the period we have reached less than 15 percent of what was projected. However, charitable bequests have never been higher and have remained relatively flat since 2000 when adjusted for inflation based on the “Giving USA” estimates. Planned giving work is not slowing down, in fact, the data show that today it is more important than ever.

  2. Hi Jonathan, does the bequest data per fiscal year refer to funds actually received that year, or the bequests committed to during that FY?

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