Applying Behavioural Insights to Charitable Giving 1.

Behavioural Insights Team (2013)
Summary by 
Mark Egan

The B.I.T. looked at the area of Legacy Giving (leaving money to charity through a will), working with the organizations Co-Operative Legal Services and Remember a Charity. Although 35% of those surveyed indicated they wanted to leave money to charity in their will, only 7% of wills contain such bequests. When customers rang to book a will-writing appointment, they were randomly assigned to a will-writer who would write them will with them over the phone. There were two treatment groups with over 1,000 individuals in each. The treatments were as follows(1) The will-writers asked “Would you like to leave any money to charity in your will?” [Plain ask](2) The will-writers asked “Many of our customers like to leave money to charity in their will. Are there any causes you’re passionate about?” [Social Norm]The results showed 10.8% of customers in the ‘plain ask’ group included a donation and 15.4% in the ‘social norm’ group. This compares to 4.9% in the baseline period which was a period before the trial began.