It has been a very unusual and difficult year for most of us, but it feels like there is now light at the end of the tunnel and the opportunity to look to a more ‘normal’ future. Charities were hit particularly hard during the last year, with staff furloughs and lockdown restrictions reducing fundraising opportunities dramatically.
However, legacy income has broken this mould and proved a resilient stream throughout the pandemic, albeit with some delays to the probate process. This resilience of legacies is not new – since the last recession in 2008, individual giving has stayed constant while legacy income has doubled.
And the future for legacies is very exciting… Our research suggests that we are entering into the biggest generational transfer of wealth in history. Despite the unprecedented economic and social uncertainties caused by the pandemic, legacy income is growing fast and expected to double in real terms by 2050.
But times are still uncertain for the moment. Now, more than ever, charities are asking what their income looks like for the next few years and how they can optimise their share of this booming market.
For many years, we have helped charities forecast their income based on our understanding of the underlying drivers along with our analysis of a charity’s underlying legacy income trends. However, this methodology is not always appropriate for smaller charities or charities with little historical data. At the same time, we have been aware that being able to understand and plan for legacy income would be invaluable for these emerging legacy charities. So, we have developed a product that can provide data and build confidence for planning legacy income for these charities.
While forecasting income for smaller charities is more difficult because of a lack of historical data and the inherent volatility of legacy income, we know that underlying trends are still driven by factors that we can analyse and forecast: These include external factors such as death rates, house prices and share prices, along with factors specific to your charity such as your legacy income history, supporter profile, cause area and fundraising strategy.
We can model these drivers to create scenarios for future legacy income, and we can advise on how to optimise your income to maintain and grow your share of the booming legacy market.