One of the blog readers requested to see the longer, scholarly article written by Professor Russell James on the starting bequest data referenced in my previous post. Since this article can be found on the web, here is the link:
On this topic, I wanted to report back that one of the planned giving directors that I informally polled about their particular experiences with bequests not coming to fruition reported some disturbing and possibly corroborating facts to support Professor James’ results. It was for a medium sized, national organization dedicated to fighting one particular disease with lots of chapters, bikethons, etc.. Over a 5 year period, they saw around 40% of their intended bequest donations (legacy society members) NOT come to fruition! For all of the reasons mentioned by Professor James!
There goes my theory that legacy society donors have a 95% success rate (not based on any actual data, of course). I am thinking that this might be a larger project to survey various planned giving programs to see where this goes. It could mean that planned giving directors need to be seeing their legacy society donors with more frequency and looking for greater documentation.
Also, I saw a very useful blog post by the TaxGirl blogger (the one who inspired me to get into this) defining exactly what “basis” means:
She writes a ton of material – and if you have the time, it is very interesting and readable! I probably read one post of hers every few months – the quantity of her posts is overwhelming. But, when I do read one, I am reminded why I wanted to get her daily emails.
Wishing all of the readers in cyberspace a happy and cool summer!
Thanks for sharing that link.
Very surprising to hear from your colleague about that 40% figure! There simply must be more research into this area, perhaps one of the professional associations could do a member survey, PPP or AFP would be ideal, but perhaps chapters could do surveys that could be more informative for specific metropolitan areas.