Bequest and Legacies Statistics

All the stats you need organized in one place

Latest Trends

Explore these vibrant infographics for inspiration to start your own planned giving program or motivation to diversify your current legacy society.

Bequests offer not only a largely-untapped resource for philanthropic gifts, these donations carry tremendous meaning and significance when properly stewarded by your nonprofit organization.

  • 44: average age donor writes first will
  • 53% people make first planned gift when writing first will
  • Bequests remain the most popular planned gift
  • 4% of donors always inform the nonprofit of the bequest
  • Half of bequest donors report an ongoing relationship of more than 20 years with their beneficiary nonprofit
  • $484.85 billion in giving in 2021. 4% increase from 2020.
  • $46.01 billion: Giving by bequest in 2021, 7.3% decline from 2020.
  • $30 trillion: largest wealth transfer over next 30 years

Biggest Motivators for Making a Bequest

  • Connection to the cause
  • Belief in the nonprofit’s ability to make a difference
  • Ability to leave the largest possible gift to the charity through an estate gift

Source: Giving USA