Organizations Need to Plan for Estate Gifts

"A demographic wave could soon funnel unprecedented dollars into philanthropy, but few nonprofits are poised to take advantage of the largest wealth transfer in human history." - Xia & Schmitt, "Philanthropy Missing Trillions" from Stanford Social Innovation Review, October 2017.

Planned giving is a broad term encompassing giving through estate and end-of-life planning, most commonly through bequests, often given in a will. The amount of bequest giving is going up, so if you're an organization, you really need to invest in learning how to ask and help people to give in estate gifts. The financial number is only going to increase beyond the $31 billion currently being given, according to Giving USA.

For about 10 years now, thinkers in the fundraising and nonprofit industry have been looking toward the wealth that will be passed from the Baby Boomer generation to the next generation. As more than 10,000 baby boomers retire daily, they have an enormous opportunity to benefit charities many times more than they ever could monthly or annually. But charities have to be prepared to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Simple Skills to Know in Planned Giving:

1- Ask donors to consider giving through a bequest.

Simply by inviting donors to have an impact through estate planning opens a door they never considered. Many donors may have been very loyal to your organization, but never realized they could give so much on their current income.

2- Get the training and resources to take advantage of all opportunities.

Did you know someone selling their business can structure the sale so that some of their tax burden is transferred into a gift to a charity? You need to know about charitable trusts so when that long-term donor sells her business, you can both win.


Many times the best donors for a planned gift aren’t high capacity donors, but loyal donors. No matter what their giving level, if you’ve had donors faithfully giving for two or more years, chances are they could become a great planned giving opportunity.

"Even though they are not the target of most outreach, small-dollar donors (and even non-donors, who are fans of an organization but have not donated) make up the lion’s share of planned giving at most organizations." - "Philanthropy Missing Trillions".

Ready for Tailored to consult with your organization about funding? Contact us today.


Kiley Hawkins, Co-Founder

On the weekends, when I’m not cheering on the Liverpool Football Club, you’ll find me working outside on my farm. At Tailored, I get most excited about helping organizations achieve alignment around their mission. It's a privilege to be a part of other organizations by thinking strategically and creatively to connect funding and impact.

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