Anyone who has been in or around planned giving for some time knows that most charitable bequests come from typical direct mail-type donors – $50 a year for many years – maybe your secret millionaires next door but certainly not your “leadership” donors.
But, take a look at Giving USA 2015. The general rate of charitable estates in America is still about 5% of all decedents. Now, take a look again at our chart above. Notice that the actual rate of inclusion of charitable bequests climbs from 15.7% for estates under $5 million all the way up to over 50% for mega wealthy Americans (over $50 million estates).
In other words, take a look around at your next board meeting. Ask yourself: How many individuals around the table fall into these potential estate levels? Then, ask yourself: How many of these board members have we had any discussion about their legacy with our institution?
If your board has individuals with these wealth levels, easily 1/3 or more of them will include some charitable gift in their estates. Will it be yours?