Why Do Individuals Make Charitable Gifts?

One can’t raise money for a charity without having an insight into this question and its answers.

In my experience, the reasons individuals make charitable gifts include:

  • a strong desire to give back for some service the charity has provided to the donor or to a close family member or friend (a service such as an education or health care);
  • a deep commitment to the charity because of the charity’s mission and how well the charity carries out its mission;
  • an emotional need, such as the need of an elderly childless individual to make a sizable gift to a children’s hospital;
  • a sense of duty, such as the sense of duty that a member of the class of 1959 feels to make a 60th reunion gift; and
  • a sense of gratitude, as I once encountered concerning an individual who was kicked out of a college in the 1950s and who came to understand about 50 years later that that event had had a profound, positive effect on him.

This is, of course, a mere sampling, not an exhaustive list.

Gift planning takes into account why individuals make charitable gifts. But gift planning usually focuses on:

  • how the gift will be made (gift vehicle and funding asset),
  • when the gift will be made, and
  • the purpose for which the gift will be made.

Recognition and crediting are sometimes important. These two items are frequently a matter of back-and-forth.

All very interesting — a confluence of human desire, the law, and the donee organization’s wishes and needs.

by Jon Tidd, Esq

Posted in blog.

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