Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dying to give?

My wife died four weeks ago. Six months from diagnosis to death from Bile Duct Cancer. All too much, too soon. The pain doesn't go away but the process of dealing with everything keeps one occupied.

It is very interesting to see how different organisations deal with the notification of death and how different some of the responses are. The banks were both very professional, sympathetic and did what they promised. Two charities, of whom she was a member, promised a call back and failed to respond. Think they'll be on my giving list?

My research shows that the death of a loved one - parent, partner or child, is probably the single most powerful trigger for charitable gifts. It is the reason people form charities and make endowments. The Princess Alice Hospice, who had been great in the last few weeks of her life, benefited from more than £1,000 of donations in lieu of flowers and will probably, in the fullness of time benefit from a gift in my will. The two I've mentioned who with four other charities were in her will for a conditional bequest, are now rather unlikely to benefit from my new will.

Those regular readers amongst you will know that I do bang on about the boomers, but with good reason. We are dying in increasing numbers and are still writing charitable wills. I suspect however we are far quicker to write charities out of our wills when they upset us. So how do we keep those existing supporters happy enough to become legators?

More of that later.