Biggest Giver in 2011? A Planned Giving Donor, Of Course!

Let’s face it, planned giving is a stepchild in the fundraising world.  Between the struggles for immediate cash, to the complexities that planned giving programs can create, it seems that fundraisers quite often just leave the planned giving efforts for another to deal with.

But, year after year, I notice that bequests in particular are always among the largest gifts reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Here is a very interesting list of the Chronicle’s top 50 givers in the U.S. in 2011:

The number one giver – by far – a bequest donor.  The number two giver also a bequest.

In fact, 10 out the 50 largest philanthropists in 2011 were bequest donors.  I didn’t count the dollars but clearly bequests represented well over 50% of the mega gift dollars given in 2011 – not bad for the stepchild!

One comment

  1. 1) The only reason planned gifts are the stepchild of fundraising is because fundraisers who should know better fail to acknowledge that anything except testamentary and deferred and other split-interest gifts are planned gifts.

    2) The fact that bequests constitute over 50% of mega gift dollars does not make them the most common type of planned gift.

    3) Since all — or virtually all — major gifts are planned, ALL OF THE TOP 50 GIFTS WERE PLANNED GIFTS.

    I will continue repeating these truths until the pundits are cured of cognitive dissonance or I drop dead, whichever occurs first.

Leave a Reply