I was out for dinner with a group of friends a while ago and it came up in conversation that I had recently updated my Will. My friends were shocked, “you’re not old” one exclaimed “what do you need a Will for?”
They were even more surprised when I explained the reason was to include a bequest for a charity that I support.
While there has been a slight increase in the number of people choosing to make a bequest over recent years, many Australians (especially the younger generations) simply do not realise that leaving a bequest is an effective way to support a cause or that creating a Will can be a surprisingly satisfying experience.
The not for profit sector has an important role to play in educating the community, not only about bequests, but also about the importance of having a Will at any age. However too many organisations, fearing the sensitive nature of bequests, don’t actively promote their programs. We really need to be raising the profile of bequests in order to better educate people about making a Will and more effectively communicate the many benefits of legacy giving both to the individual and the organisation.
Whether you are looking to more actively promote your bequest program or publicly launch a new one, doing so will create valuable opportunities to build relationships and engage your supporters. Receiving a bequest is the ultimate expression of a strong donor relationship. It shows that the donor believes in your cause and your vision and that they trust you.
Yes, it is true that there are sensitivities involved in bequests, but managing them is not so difficult that it should stop you from doing something that will benefit your cause, your supporters and the community in general.