Charities Be Aware: More Donations Come Annually from Bequests than Corporate Giving

 Where are you spending your time chasing donated dollars? If you answer writing grants and proposals to corporations, you’re probably right. $22 Billion was directed from bequests to charity versus $15 Billion from corporations in 2011. (Giving USA 2011)

For all of your efforts you probably haven’t taken the time to read up on Giving USA’s research that measured the amount of funding that actually comes in from individual and corporate giving I contend that corporate giving is great to get but it doesn’t really address the looming opportunity of actually increasing overall giving by focusing on the area of individual and to that end bequest giving.

Now why is this important? Well for many reason the simple fact that less than 5% of estates actually have a bequest built in. Understanding that a great deal of time is spent chasing a donation for your charity today, the uncertainty of whether or not your charity will even be considered for a bequest is a bit of a wild goose chase, if you don’t take the time to build out a plan to understand the underlying motivational factors which will influence a bequest in your favour.

Bequest in the donor’s mind is a reminder of death. Well death, is reinforced with the donor especially when a family member or friend passes. And why wouldn’t it be so. I remember meeting with a very private and successful gentleman. He gave little thought to his mortality, continuing to live a quite lifestyle in style. He developed a kidney ailment, which required dialysis, which was his first sign of mortality. He then encountered a siblings passing. At this point, I was contacted by an organization that was close to him. They said that he wanted to meet to hear about making his mark and leaving his legacy.

This process kept up for the better part of one-year. The year was filled with discussions with Jack that when his health was good he didn’t want to discuss his estate and legacy plans. When he was ill, his legacy and community planning was top of mind.

Jack left $6 million to his favourite charities. His legacy lives on. He died unexpectedly due to his complications from kidney disease. Jack is just one person, who made a significant contribution to his community. How many meetings will take place with a Jack to help them with their legacy? I know that more proposals will be written to banks, insurance, oil companies and other corporations to seek funding for worthy causes.

William Petruck
Founder, President and CEO
FUNDING matters Inc.