Yes, I have a motive, and it is a bequest. As a young woman with no children, I have already created my estate plans. Yes, I have. And while those I love will be taken care of as they should. There is a time after they are gone when my assets held in trust will be given to a charity which will receive the bulk of my estate.
You may ask, why?
Well, undoubtedly motives for donors are all different. Some decide to leave money in their estate to avoid taxes, some choose to leave money to obtain recognition. There is a whole host of other important motivations. For me, it is because I want to give to a charity which has given so very much to me. And, this gift that I make on my death will be impossible for me to make during my life.
We all tend to live on a set amount of disposable income. While I have had saved and invested, surely I am not willing to take a chance and spend down a considerable amount of my assets while I may still need them. I still have a long life yet to live. However, after my death, who cares! At that point, I will be able to make the single largest gift that I will ever make. For me, that is enough. More than I could do while alive.
I should add that at one point, I had a significant number of charities in my estate to benefit from my death. And, that is where stewardship comes into play. For you see, some charities are so intent on “chasing” the big donors that they forget about those little folks making small gifts out of their disposable income. What they fail to think about is that for some, this giving may just be the tip of the iceberg. Since estate gifts are surely revocable, all donors whether large or small should be stewarded in some way appropriate to each.
I can’t tell you how many times during my career that an organization I was working with received a bequest from a donor who may have made one $10 or $25 gift during their lifetime.
I have thought long and hard about those local charities and have narrowed it down to one – one that is extremely near and dear to my heart and one that treats me like a person when I visit, call, or make a gift.