Note: This is a summary of an older NPTV story. For the full video of the story, click here.
If you've ever wondered what kind of impact bequest giving has on the nonprofit sector, you are sure to find this informative and clearly presented video useful. Almost three quarters of American adults have no wills, or have made no formal plans to leave behind any form of charitable gift. A mere 21 percent of Americans have actually formalized a will, or made any intentional and concrete plans to bequest a gift to a charity. Just three years ago, a total of about 51% of American adults had a will in place.
Bequest giving in 2009 was estimated to be valued at $23.8 billion. A survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation found that women were more likely to make a charitable gift than men, but men were more inclined to have a formal will in place than women. Contributing factors to the presence of a will include education level and wealth. While this is the case, the actual gift will by and large depend on who is requested to give it. Bequests are predominantly motivated by a personal involvement with a charitable organization or personal experience with a subject addressed by a nonprofit organization. Tax consequences tend not to be the primary motivator. This is according to Adrian Sargeant of the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Giving motivated by personal ties
As might be expected, people are more open to the idea of saving rather than the notion of giving. In addition to this, most people are more likely to leave their estate to loved ones, rather than channel those assets to an area where no personal ties exist. These are the sentiments of Frank Minton, a planned giving expert and a consultant to PG Calc. Spouses are first in line to benefit from bequests, followed by children and grandchildren. Clara Miller of the Nonprofit Finance Fund acknowledges that times are tough, and that elderly people in particular are seeing their entire retirements passing before their eyes. Be sure to check out this video to get a better idea of the state of planned giving within the nonprofit sector.