Every year our organization receives bequests from individuals who did not inform us in advance that they have included us in their wills. We are extremely grateful for these gifts, for they enable us to continue the work that was obviously important to the donors. At the same time, it would be helpful for our organization to know about the gifts ahead of time.
Reasons why some people do not disclose
There are various reasons why people do not reveal their charitable intentions. Knowing that their family circumstances could change and that they might have to remove or alter the bequest provision, they may not want to arouse expectations. They may regard a will as a very private matter and not want to reveal provisions to any beneficiaries, whether individuals or organizations. They may fear that disclosing a bequest provision would invite solicitations. Possibly they are simply unaware that such information is important to us.
Reasons why we would like to know
We understand and respect all of the reasons why you might not want to reveal a future gift provision. At the same time, we would like to explain why we like to know. First, and foremost, we want to say thank you. We are always sad when we receive a surprise end-of-life gift and never had an opportunity to say thank you to the donor for his or her foresight and thoughtfulness. Second, we would like to honor you in some manner, possibly at an event or through an organized group of donors. Third, we would welcome the opportunity to provide information about the impact your gift will have. Fourth, if your gift is very specific in nature, we would want to advise you about the particulars of fulfilling your intentions.
Please be assured that information you provide is confidential and that no details about your future gift are disclosed unless authorized by you. Also, disclosure in no sense is a binding commitment, for we understand that circumstances can change. With these assurances, we hope you will consider informing us about any legacy gift you have made through a provision in your will or living trust or by beneficiary designation. Thank you so much for your generosity.