June 17, 2005 09:45 ET


Just 8% of British Columbians Have Made a Legacy Gift; BUT 40% of Those Who've Not Would Consider Doing So In The Future...Faith/Religious Organizations are the Organization of Choice of Most Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor VANCOUVER, B.C.--(CCNMatthews - June 17, 2005) - A new Ipsos-Reid poll shows that relatively few British Columbians are currently engaged in legacy giving, that is leaving a portion of their estate to a charitable or non-profit organization. Overall, just 8% of the BC population has made a legacy gift. The median donation is just over $8,000. However, among those who've not made a gift of this kind, a significant number - fully 40% - said they'd consider doing so in the future. "Eight percent is not a large number," observes Daniel Savas, Senior Vice-President in Ipsos-Reid's Vancouver office. "Clearly, charitable organizations looking to capture a larger slice of British Columbians' charitable generosity via legacy gifts need to be gazing more into the future; that's where the opportunities for growth are".

When asked which type of organization is the main beneficiary of their estate, most British Columbians who've made a legacy gift (32%) say they've left it to a religious or faith organization. In the future, among those who'll consider making a gift, most say they'll target organizations working to support children and youth (30%), medical illness/conditions (27%), and medical research (26%). "These findings reveal a certain amount of commitment to one's faith among the BC population," comments Mr. Savas. "However, the future bodes well for a broader group of organizations to benefit from legacy gifts, signaling to all that there are opportunities for tapping into the legacy giving market in the province."

These are some of the findings of a much larger Ipsos-Reid study on Planned Giving in BC. The study was conducted online from March 18th to 25th,2005 with a randomly selected sample of 1,731 adult British Columbians who are part of Ipsos-Reid's BC-based Online Panel. Among these, 138 have made a legacy gift. The response rate to the survey was 52%. The overall results are considered accurate to within ±2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire BC adult population been polled. The margin of error for the 138 sample of those who've made a legacy gift is +8.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to the 2001 Census.

Just 8% of British Columbians Have Made a Legacy Gift; BUT of Those Who've Not Yet Made a Gift, 40% Would Consider Doing So In The Future

Overall, 8% of British Columbians say they've already made provisions to leave a portion of their estate to a charitable or non-profit organization. By comparison, among those who've not made a legacy gift, a full 40% say they'd consider making a legacy gift at some time in the future. Among these individuals, 9% were truly committed in their intentions, while another 31% said they'd "probably consider" making a gift of this type in the future.
In terms of the size of the legacy gifts made, the median current legacy gift is $8,017, which means half the people have made a legacy gift greater than this amount, and another half have made a gift lower than this amount. The median gift among those likely to make a gift in the future is about 25% lower, at $6,101. The research suggests, however, that the true size of the legacy giving pot in British Columbia is a bit of a guessing game for the non-profit sector. For example, more than 6-in-10 British Columbians surveyed who've already made a legacy gift would not or could not reveal the amount of their gift. Further, fully 8-in-10 of those who've made a planned gift have not even informed the organizations of the fact that they've made them a beneficiary of their estate.

When considering the socio-demographic profile of the current legacy giving population, it's useful to consider not only the size of the subgroups that've made a gift, but also the size of the gift in terms of dollars. In some cases, the two don't match. Among British Columbians who've already left a gift to a charitable or non-profit organization, we find that they are:

§Disproportionately female: 57% of givers are women, 43% are men. But, men tend to make larger gifts - $9,094 median gift vs. $6,808 for women

§Disproportionately older: 51% of givers are 35-54 years of age, and 40% are 55+, with an average age of 50.2. The median gift is fairly similar for both age categories - $7,814 (35-54) and $8,091 (55+)
§Disproportionately married: 69% of givers are married, 19% are single, 9% are divorced, and 3% are widowed. The median gift is larger among the married population ($9,771) vs. single ($3,370), divorced ($7,163), or widowed ($1,127)

§Disproportionately higher household assets: 28% of givers have $500K+ in household assets, 35% have assets of less than $500K. The median gift is much larger for those with higher household assets - $21,881 ($500K+) vs. $12,542 ($100K - $500K) and $2,208 (Less than $100K)

When considering the socio-demographic profile of the future legacy giving population, we find a somewhat different portrait. Among British Columbians who say they'd consider leaving a portion of their estate in the future to a charitable or non-profit organization, we find that they are:

§Disproportionately younger: 41% of givers are 18-34 years of age, and 41% are 35-54, compared to just 18% who are 55+. The average age of future legacy gift giver is 39.8. The median future gift is fairly similar across all age categories - $6,324 (18-34), $6,118 (35-54) and $5,593 (55+).

§Disproportionately single: 35% of givers are single, 53% who are married, 11% are divorced, and 1% are widowed. The median future gift is larger among the single population ($8,011) vs. married ($4,870), divorced ($6,737), or widowed ($3,137).

§Disproportionately lower household assets: 63% of givers have less than $100K vs. 29% who have $100K - $500K in assets, and 11% who have $500K+. However, the median gift is larger among the higher household asset group - $8,264 vs. $6,558 ($100K-$500K) and $5,110 (less than $100K).

Faith/Religious Organizations are the Main Beneficiaries of Current Legacy Gifts from BC Population

A third of British Columbians who've made a legacy gift - 32% - have made faith or religious organizations the main beneficiary of a portion of their estate. This is double the number of any other single organization. Next in line are organizations that work to support animal welfare (16%) and medical illness/conditions (14%).

A third grouping of organizations that are beneficiaries of legacy gifts include those working in the areas of medical research (11%), international development (11%), education (10%), social services (10%), and children and youth (9%).

Further down the list still are the following types of organizations: wildlife (4%), hospitals (4%), seniors (4%), arts and culture (3%), environment (3%), physical disability (2%), and community foundations (1%).

Future Legacy Gifts Likely to Benefit Broader Range of Sectors, Particularly Children and Youth, and Medical Organizations

Overall, the potential legacy giving market offers up a different set and a broader mix of preferred organizations. Looking into the future, 64% of British Columbians who have not yet left a legacy gift, but are likely to do so in the future, indicate they would be most likely to leave a portion of their estate to a medical non-profit organization. Specifically, 27% would make a planned gift to an organization associated with a medical illness, condition, or disease; 26% would target an organization associated with medical research; and 11% target hospitals.
However, the single most important sector targeted for future planned giving is "children and youth"; fully 30% of those who would consider making a planned gift would target this type of organization.

There is long list of other organizations that are likely targets for future planned giving. When compared to the current planned giving market, this list touches a much broader mix of organizations, indicating perhaps that planned giving in the future may provide opportunities beyond the traditional sectors, and could touch multiple organizations within each sector.

In a second tier of sectors, we find about 1-in-5 British Columbians likely to consider making a legacy gift to organizations working to support social services (21%), animal welfare (19%), education (18%), and religion (18%).
A third grouping consists of the organizations in the following sectors: environment (14%), international development (13%) wildlife (12%), physical disability (10%), and arts and culture (9%).

In a final tier are a few other types of organizations: disaster relief (6%), seniors (4%), sports and recreation (5%), political (2%), and hospices (1%).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Daniel Savas
Senior Vice-President
Ipsos-Reid Corporation

News releases are available at http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/.

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