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Planned giving, what is it and why should I participate? 

Planned giving used to be referred to as a way of ensuring that those charities you supported during your lifetime would continue to receive support after your death, commonly they were a bequest, in your will.  However today, planned giving has evolved to become a very effective tool that allows you to support your favorite charity now through your current and future investments, as well as through your will after death.


For nonprofit organizations, income from planned giving is becoming an absolutely vital component of its long-term financial sustainability.  To understand the importance of planned giving to a private nonprofit 501©3 organization like Sable House, you need to understand the way that nonprofits are typically funded.  Most commonly, nonprofits rely on 3 main categories of funding. 


Grants  - These can be government grants or contracts such as the Violence Against Women Act Grant that Sable House receives, and/or private foundation and federation grants such as the Meyer Memorial Trust, The Dallas Community Foundation and United Way.  Unfortunately the majority of these funds are not permanent or guaranteed to be awarded every year and they usually decrease in dollar amount.  In fact most private foundations only grant for a one year period.


Fundraising Events and Newsletters – These are periodical events such as Sable’s Annual Tree Recycle Event or a dinner/auction, etc., and periodical newsletter appeals to an established donor mailing list.  As shown in the graph below, the net proceeds from these events is a small part the organizations revenue.


Donations  - These are gifts of money that come from members of the community who believe in what we do and want to support our efforts.  These are of varying amounts, frequency and duration determined by the donor.


Common Types of Planned Giving



Although there are many forms of planned giving, the most common is the will.  Everyone should have a will because without it, you could lose control over your belongings, investments and assets.  A will says a lot about you.  It says you care about your loved ones and that you want to make it easier for them by taking care of legal matters relating to the transfer of your estate in the event of your death.  And, having a will ensures that you are in control of your estate and it gives you the opportunity to continue supporting the family members and causes that were important to you.   

We've all been told that if we do nothing else to take care of our legal affairs, we should write a will. That's pretty good advice. If you don't make a will before your death, state law will determine who gets your property (and it may well not be whom you would have chosen), and a judge may decide who will raise your children. In your will, you can make these decisions yourself.

If all you need is a basic will, you can confidently use a good self-help book or software to make a legally binding will that:

  • Leaves your property, investments and assets to the people and charitable organizations you choose

  • Names a guardian to care for your minor children

  • Names someone to manage property you leave to minor children (yours or someone else's), and

  • Names your executor, the person with authority to make sure that the terms of your will are carried out.


Stocks, Bonds, Savings Accounts, Annuities, Retirements, CD’s

You can donate also investment/interest income to your charity


Life Insurance

Name your charity as beneficiary on your life insurance policy

You can also donate the income interest income from paid up policies to your charity



Real Estate, Auto’s, Jewelry, Art

If your assets are to be sold you can donate your favorite charity as the recipient of the proceeds


Other ways you can support your charity

Remember your loved ones by making memorial gifts in their honor.

Encourage family and friends to get educated about planned giving.


By including Sable House in your estate plan, you help to ensure that we can continue our important work to end domestic and sexual violence in Polk County and keep families safe.

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