The Australian Journal of Social Issues has just released an excellent study on bequests in Australia. It shows that when people are distributing their assets through their will, charities rank behind all others except ex-spouses and ex-partners. Priority goes to children, step-children, grandchildren, parents, friends.
To pull out this one statistic does not do the report justice. You should read it in detail both for:
– its analysis of its 2012 telephone survey of more than 2,400 Australians
– the reminder it provides of earlier work by Madden & McDonald 2012, McGregor-Lowndes & Hannah 2008, Baker & Gilding 2011, and the 2005 ACOSS report.
It is a shame that the survey was light-on for donors over 75 years, and I wondered why they tried to get full representation across the years from 18 plus. But without this we would not have learnt that young women (under 30) without children are interested in charitable bequests.
There is a line in the article that provides a neat summary of the findings:
Bequests are about family money rather than having a redistributive social function”
But fundraisers who look carefully will find clues to improve their bequest programs.
The article appears as “Will-making prevalence and patterns in Australia: keeping it in the family” by Cheryl Tilse, Kill Wilson, Ben White, Linda Rosenman and Rachel Feeney in Australian Journal of Social Issues Vol.50 No.3, 2015.
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