Earlier this year, I received my Legacy of Love Society pin from Wayside Waifs because I signed a letter of intent to make a planned gift to the organization. In that letter of intent, I listed the present-day value of my gift. And, at this reception where I sat amongst others already in the Society, I felt like a bit of an imposter. But, I’m not.
Planned gifts aren’t only for “old” people. And, yet, every time I attempt to educate a group of people about options for planned giving, there is invariably a joke made about aging and dying. Now, I’m not naïve. None of us are getting out of here alive, and I’m on a rollercoaster journey towards accepting that. But, frankly, there are three reasons why I think planned giving is so deeply special. And, I promise; you don’t have to be “old” to participate.
I have a sense that many people move through life thinking of death as somewhat uncertain. They don’t know when it will happen, and many of us are fortunate enough that death won’t find us until some future time. We put things off (taking the trip, finding a new job, making that estate plan) because, well, we’re really hopeful we have plenty of time. And, I’m hopeful to have plenty of time, too. But, death is the only thing we’re guaranteed and doing my best to plan for that makes me feel the least bit in control of something mostly out of my control. I’m also hopeful to have plenty of time because right now, the retirement account of which Wayside Waifs is a small percentage beneficiary isn’t going to produce the size of gift I want to give ("plenty of time" would be nice for a lot of reasons, actually).
It’s Because of Joy
I had a life-changing experience because of a nonprofit organization. Full stop. Tobin, our first-born, was just a wiry terrier on Wayside Waifs’ webpage. I’ve written much about him most of which hasn’t been shared. He’s special in a way that only Buddy and I will truly ever know, and he was a Waif. Lincoln, our second-born, bounded into our home even though Tobin wasn’t necessarily seeking a brother. We rarely do much contrary to what we imagine are Tobin’s wishes, but adding a vocal, spunky, Cairn terrier (also a Waif) to our little family seemed almost out of our control.
It’s Bigger than Me
When I’m attempting to secure a planned gift from a donor or thank them for submitting their gift intention form, I typically share with them how special I think it is to leave a planned gift. If you’re fortunate enough to leave a legacy by creating a planned gift of any amount, you’ve hopefully lived a pretty charmed life. And, you believe so strongly in the organization(s) to which you’ve memorialized these gifts that you have planned for them in a future you won’t see. That’s trust. That’s special.
So, I’m asking you – both from a personal and professional perspective – consider a planned gift at any age.
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