One way for individuals to support your center’s mission is to leave a bequest in their will, living trust or with a codicil.
A bequest is a continuation of a supporter’s values and aspirations. The gift leaves a legacy that is life-affirming and long-lasting. Individuals who establish legacy gifts allow your center to continue planting seeds of hope and healing well into the future.
A bequest lessens the burden of taxes on an individual’s family and at times results in estate tax savings. The greatest benefit of making a bequest is the legacy left behind. It is a true honor to recognize the many lives that will be changed as a result of living and giving with great intention.
Establishing a bequest is typically not on the forefront of an individual’s mind. For that reason, it’s important that an option to make a bequest to your center be communicated clearly and frequently. Consider including information in your regular newsletter or on your website. If you feel it’s appropriate, do not be afraid to directly ask supporters if they are interested in making a bequest.
A bequest can be made in several ways:
A specific dollar amount of assets can be gifted.
A percentage of an estate or the balance or residue of an estate can be gifted.
An individual could also choose to make a beneficiary designation of certain assets.
A bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make to an organization. With the help of an attorney or estate planning adviser, language can be included in an individual’s will or trust specifying that a gift be made to your center as part of an existing estate plan. Create a short referral list of life-affirming attorneys and estate planning advisers for supporters interested in learning more about establishing a legacy gift.
Because this gesture does not require anything from your organization directly, encourage those who choose to include your center in their bequest to contact you so you are able to thank them for their generous provision and for helping to continue your mission.
If you have built rapport with a supporter over time and their personal values align with your cause, you’ll find many individuals consider it an honor to be asked to create a lasting impact through their legacy gift.