Fewer North Americans are drafting wills – that makes getting a bequest that much harder
Based on the stats that 60% of individuals have a current estate plan and of those only 4% have included charity in their estate planning indicates that something is wrong with what charities and professional advisors have been doing.
Most individuals do not understand what a bequest is in the first place. This creates a bigger challenge in engaging these individuals to make a charitable gift as part of their estate planning. Just imagine, you don’t have an estate plan and your financial plan is somewhat clouded. How can you begin the process of even thinking about making a charitable donation of any magnitude. The lack of engagement and information between the charity, the advisors and the donor is a huge obstacle to increasing the number of major gift donors or bequest gifts a charity may receive now or in the foreseeable future.
Illustrating the impact of taxation on assets and how taxation can be directed for charitable purposes should be the responsibility of the charitable executive and the professional advisors. Often, the donor once alerted to the matter of making a sizeable donation by the charity refers the discussion to their financial, taxation or legal advisor for further clarity. It’s getting to this point that takes some work. All charities have a strong case for support and most fundraisers are great communicators, so what happens when it comes to communicating the benefits to the donor associated with their giving? We need to step up and become more literate and comfortable in engaging with donors and other professional advisors in this area. Only then, will we see an improvement and an increase in the number of bequests being made to charity.
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