by Scott Lubansky

What is a planned gift?
Planned giving empowers charitably minded people to make meaningful gifts to worthy organizations that reflect their beliefs and values. Most people have never truly even considered their ability to make a planned gift. A planned gift is a contribution that is arranged in the present and allocated in the future. Planned gifts are most commonly donated through a will or trust and they are most often granted once the donor has passed away.

Can a planned gift help save lives?
As I think about Care Net’s mission and values, I am always deeply moved by their unwavering commitment to changing and saving lives and by how hard their employees and volunteers work to realize their mission. As a professional fundraising consultant, I constantly look for ways to introduce Care Net and their mission to potential donors. How often do we as donors have the opportunity to save a life? How often are we given the opportunity to change a life, to make life just a little easier for a young mother, a child, a family member or loved one?

For Care Net, such opportunities arise daily When I get their newsletter, the first thing I notice is how many lives they saved this year. Every new year records more and more lives saved.

How will a planned gift help Care Net?
Most who donate to Care Net make cash gifts, usually through the mail or online. Some donate to special appeals or their signature Baby Bottle Campaign. I look forward every year to their annual banquet, where hundreds of like-minded people gather to socialize, encourage one another and pledge financial support to help Care Net prepare for another year of saving lives. A special kind of energy and stewardship goes on at Care Net’s annual banquet. It renews my faith and gives me yet another opportunity to offer my donation. But in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic prevented such events, many donors began to take a deeper look at the charities they value and the place of planned gifts.

How do I make a planned gift to Care Net?
Planned gifts can be made in many ways and are usually longer-term gifts. A planned gift can be made from the donor’s will or bequeathed from a part of the estate. It is relatively simple for a donor to add a codicil to his or her will or estate plan to leave or bequeath a provision or percentage to Care Net. There are other more sophisticated ways people can make planned gifts to Care Net including through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), a life insurance policy naming Care Net as a beneficiary and other methods. Your tax adviser can help you determine the most advantageous ways to make a planned gift.

In the United States last year, generous donors gave $427.71 billion to charities across the United States. Of that amount, $39.71 billion came in the form of a bequest. Making a last will and testament is an important first step in opening up your ability to do more when that is your desire, yet fewer than half of Americans aged 65 or older have made a will.

Because donors have continued to be faithful despite the pandemic, Care Net has been able to continue its lifesaving mission. Please consider helping this critical ministry not only as a loyal annual donor but also by taking the additional step of making a provision in your will or estate to support their work in the long term.

Scott Lubansky is president of Professional FundRaising Counsel, West Chester, Ohio