Leave A Legacy

What is Leave a Legacy?

Leave A Legacy is a community-based program to help people learn about charitable giving through a will or from an estate. Leave A Legacy does NOT solicit gifts for any particular organization. Instead, the program is a cooperative effort of estate planing professionals and all types of nonprofit groups including social service and arts organizations, churches, hospitals, educational institutions and other philanthropic groups.

Charitable, nonprofit groups play an important role in our lives, extending help in many ways, from giving seniors a hot meal, to linking up children with good role models. Help may also come in the form of fighting a terrible disease, leading a spiritual experience or bringing beauty to your world through the arts.

The truth is that these special organizations need financial assistance from people like you in order to continue their good deeds. More than 70% of Americans contribute to nonprofit groups of their choice throughout their lifetimes. Only around 6% continue this support through a gift in their will or estate plan. By making these "planned gifts," you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community. When you Leave A Legacy, you make sure that help continues to be there for those who need it.


Why organize a community-wide Leave a Legacy Effort?

Data demonstrates that only about one-fourth of planned gift maturities come from donors who were known to the organization at the time of their deaths. Either the decedents had not made gifts during their lifetimes or their gifts were small enough, and long enough before their deaths, that any records had been deleted as lapsed donors.

It is hard to identify all prospects. Only a negligible proportion of the decedents can be identified as planned gift prospects by gifts made during their lifetimes. Only 3% had giving histories of $10,000 or more. It is difficult to identify all possible planned gift prospects, and they are reluctant to self-identify. Most organizations report that for every bequest donor who will notify you of his or her intentions, four will not.

It is very difficult for nonprofit organizations to reach more than one-fourth of their planned gift prospects with marketing materials. Even for the prospects who can be reached, there is a question about the effectiveness of marketing materials from the non-profits. When asked where they first got the idea to make a charitable bequest, 77% of donors surveyed in 1992 responded that they had come up with it themselves, rather than being motivated by the charity's marketing materials or an estate planning professional.

This data supports the proposal that non-profits could multiply their effectiveness in reaching planned gift prospects through a community-wide marketing effort. This type of "shot-gun" marketing is cost-prohibitive to many organizations. By offering the Leave A Legacy concept as a collaboration that can be integrated with the existing marketing plans of its partners, the National Committee on Planned Giving is able to offer non-profits a cost-effective solution to this dilemma.


Peoria Area Leave a Legacy Mission Statement

The Peoria Area Leave A Legacy initiative is an impartial, cooperative, educational effort that encourages individuals to write a will or prepare an estate plan to include one or more charities in their planning.


For more information contact

Peoria Area Leave A Legacy

P. O. Box 5141

Peoria, IL 61601

(309) 687-7150