Heard on the Web: Of 10 Largests Gifts in 2008, Most Were Bequests

Heard on the Web: Of 10 Largests Gifts in 2008, Most Were Bequests

News story posted in Demographics on 4 March 2009| 3 comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011


According to a report by MSNBC, the recession could be changing the giving habits of America's wealthiest donors. Gifts from seven of the 10 biggest donors in 2008 were made from estates, according to an annual ranking of America

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Giving Habits...........

The MSNBC article implies that the giving habits have shifted in favor of bequests. Unfortunately, this is an inaccurate portrayal. The bequests that are being realized now were created a long time ago. The drop in current giving is obviously recent. The different time sequence of the gifts renders any commments about a shift in giving patterns from current gift to bequests meaningless. For this to have meaning, one would have to compare the gift typs in the year of creation, not the year of realization.

Giving Habits

Yes, but there is still something to be said in the fact that megagifts planned years ago far outpaced megagifts being made now.

Giving Habits

I think that you need to look at giving in the time the gifts were made if it is to have a relevance to solicitation techniques. I am not sure that the planned gifts referred to outpaced current major gifts in the time they were created. The fact remains that comparisons should be done accurately, and the MSNBC squib was misleading in its comparison and "shift" terminology. Having said that, I certainly favor increased emphasis, during these times, on revocable planned gifts. It's the best strategy in uncertain times. Thanks for your comments. Dick

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