Predict your future: the legacy market in Flanders

The blog you’re about to read is considered a sin in fundraising. One of the first lessons I ever received as a fundraiser was: “don’t talk about the numbers of a charity, your story has to be emotional, people don’t connect with numbers”. Well, I will shed some light on the numbers of the last years of bequest fundraising in Flanders anyway.

Emotional stories are the core of how we connect donors and fundraisers, but when you’re strategizing on how to use the limited budget your charity has, the numbers matter.

In this two-part blog I’ll share the numbers that all legacy fundraisers should know. And you’re lucky! As a legacy fundraiser you can create an amazing ROI for your cause.

Every euro invested in direct mail fundraising creates /- 3 euros for your charity. In bequest fundraising that ratio is a lot higher. Within the charities we work for we see this ratio going from 6 to 20 euros return on every euro invested. Calculate this for you own charity: I’m positive you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Next time your board of directors asks why they should invest in legacy fundraising: show them your ratio and the results underneath. The future in legacy fundraising is bright.

The table below shows the amount left to all charities by donors living in Flanders over the last 4 years. Unfortunately we’re only able to receive these results for Flanders*. But we can imagine that the trend is similar in every part of our beauti

2015 2016 2017
€ 187.746.940

€ 237.074.658

€ 260.219.538

*Special thanks to FB Vlaanderen for sharing the results.
**For 2018 the data is incomplete since this considers all deceased from 2018 for a lot of the deceases the will hasn’t been finalised. Right now the result is: € 162.682.290. We have to wait until September 2019 to have representative numbers for 2018. To not create confusion for your board, maybe leave 2018 out of the picture for now 😉.

From 2015 to 2017 there is an increase in total amount of 38%. This is a clear trend that is worth investing in for every charity out there.

Then why do I hear so many charities decreasing the budget invested in legacy fundraising?

I can’t guarantee this trend will remain for the next decades, but all the signs are there.

The population pyramid of Belgium is shown underneath. Can you spot the babyboomers? This group will grow old over the next 40 years and presents a huge opportunity for legacy fundraising. Taking into account that investments in legacy fundraising take 5 to 10 years to materialize, the time for building your strategy is now.

Want to change the future of your organisation? Make smart investments.

Stay tuned for the second part of this blog where I’ll look at the results in depth.

Author: Lore Maene Lore Maene
Legacy fundraising expert