Due to their potential impact on legacy incomes over the next three decades, we have conducted extensive research into baby boomers and legacies since 2007.

Now in their fifties and sixties, baby boomers represent a key audience for legacy fundraisers. Compared to previous generations – and perhaps the ones that follow – they are significantly more affluent. Our research suggests a  greater openness to the idea of leaving a charitable will.  But the boomers also have many other demands on their energies, assets and emotions. How can we ensure that they continue to make space for charity in their wills?

For summaries of our key findings, please request a copy of Legacy Giving 2050 here

“As a generation, the Boomers are charitably-minded … they are also demanding, want control and proof of value.”

Legacy Giving 2050

What we have learned

Due to their potential impact on legacy incomes over the next three decades, we have conducted extensive research into baby boomer legacies over the past 12 years; in 2007, 2010, 2014 and most recently in 2019.

Our most recent baby boomer project, Baby Boomer Legacies (2019) assesses the opportunities and challenges British baby boomers represent for legacy fundraisers. The research forecasts their long-term impact on legacy incomes and numbers and focuses on the widening intergenerational wealth divide and emerging financial challenges facing the boomer cohort.

We found that

  • The opportunity is huge, boomers now represent 1 fifth of the UK population and half of its wealth. Our research suggests a higher propensity to leave a legacy – 14% of core boomers claim to have done so already, 40% are open to the idea.
  • Numbers of gifts in wills will outpace bequest values, We predict that real legacy income (after inflation) will double over the next 30 years but the value of legacies will grow more slowly than before, due to the muted long-term economic outlook and by donors splitting their residual estate over more causes – a by-product of increased competition
  • Child-free donors will be more important than ever, one in five shadow boomer women is child-free and today’s generation of child-free donors appears willing to flout giving conventions, basing decisions on who ‘needs’ and ‘deserves’ their gift the most, whether that’s family, friends or a trusted charity.
  • Smaller, local causes will continue to gain ground. Over a quarter of today’s 60-75-year olds are volunteering, exposing them to charities and community groups on a personal, often local level. We believe these connections will influence legacy giving decisions in the longer term, suggesting that smaller, local causes and local branches of national charities will continue to gain share.
  • An opportunity for charities to foster a better world. Charities must continue to voice their case for a better future, providing ever more essential services and a kinder, fairer way of being. This tallies with boomers professed interest in ‘Karma’ and ‘paying it forward’, and their desire to do – and perhaps leave – something tangible and worthwhile.

In 2019 Legacy Foresight’s celebrated our 25th anniversary. To mark this occasion we produced a new report Giving Tomorrow: Legacy and In-Memory 2045. We showcase fresh thinking on where legacy and in-memory giving will be in 25 years’ time, including 10 predictions for how giving will change and the implications for fundraisers. The report is based on our own analysis as well as featuring opinions from well-known industry experts.

Download your copy here

The next decades will bring huge – and as yet largely untapped – potential for growth in the legacies and in-memory sectors. We look forward to continuing to monitor, understand and shape this vital sector alongside our many valued clients over the next 25 years and beyond.

If you would like more information about us, and how we can work with you, please get in touch

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