Charitable giving through legacies

  • 2012

Legacy giving (where people leave a donation to charity in their will) is rare, despite government incentives such as inheritance tax discounts.


Two behavioural insights could be used to encourage legacy giving:

  • Social norms. We are influenced by the actual or perceived behaviours of those around us and tend to behave the way we think most other people do.
  • Timely prompts. Giving people reminders at the right time can help them to take action.

We asked people writing a will whether they would like to donate to charity. In doing so, we highlighted a positive social norm (e.g. ’Many people leave money to charity in their will‘).

Result & Impact

The number of people who donated money to charity in their will tripled.