Pointers on getting Board approval

Pointers on Getting Board Approval

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Raising Money Through Bequests: How Your Organization Can Profit from the Biggest Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth in History.

From a review of the book by David Valinsky and Melanie Boy


There are a number of organizational tasks that must be done in the process of setting up your bequest program.

One of the first is to get your board's approval. How?

Valinsky and Boyd suggest a presentation that includes several elements:

  • Include a report on the history of bequests your organization has received. How many of those bequests were unsolicited? When were they received? Who were those donors? How were they connected to the organization?

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Explain how a bequest program will benefit donors. The program will allow you to educate people about the importance of having a will; and you will be offering a real opportunity to donors of making a dramatic impact on the community.

  • Review the benefits to your organization and present the cost to introduce and operate your bequest program. Revenue from a bequest program will take years to realize. If board members balk at this, point out that if you had started this earlier, the organization could have been enjoying its fruits by now.
  • Suggest personnel to staff the program. Although new staffing might not be immediately needed, board members need to understand that as time goes on and the program grows, new personnel will be needed.
  • Address some common misunderstandings about donor bequest decision making. These include: donors' estate planning is driven by tax consideration and donors want to leave their entire estates to their children. Neither of these assumptions are correct.
Last modified: Monday, 4 February 2013, 9:25 AM