Only two things are certain in life, it is said, and they are death and taxes. That's where planned giving comes in.
If nothing else gets your nonprofit working on a planned giving program, the facts about charitable bequests should do it. Here are some of the most telling:
- Charitable bequests in the U.S. amounted to almost $23 billion, or 7.8 percent of total giving in 2006.
- It is estimated that over the next 50 years, more than $41 trillion will be transferred from one generation to the next. A substantial percentage of that (estimated to be $6 trillion) will be donated to charity.
- The estate tax in the U.S. contributes to the high level of charitable giving through bequests. A 2004 government study concluded that if the federal estate tax were permanently repealed, overall charitable giving would be reduced by 6-12%. Charitable bequests could decline by 16-28%.
Betsy Brill, "Preparing for the intergenerational transfer of wealth: Opportunities and strategies for advisors," Journal of Praxctical Estate Planning, April-May 2003.
Robert McClelland and Pamela Greene, A CBO Paper: The estate tax and charitable giving (Congressional Budget Office, Congress of the United States, July 2004).
Willie Cheng, Doing Good Well: What does (and does not) make sense in the nonprofit world, Jossey-Bass, 2008 (see Chapter 10).