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Planned Giving For The Younger Set

by Lorri Greif

Nowadays, more and more nonprofits are offering planned giving as a part of their fundraising strategy. After all, it's another way to contribute to charity and it has become clear how important this form of giving is when it comes to securing a nonprofit's work for the future.

The solicitation for these future dollars is understandably focused on the more "senior" population. It goes without saying that the more seasoned contributor should be approached about planned giving, but it pays to keep in mind that another market may also exist for this type of gift; younger supporters should not be entirely overlooked. They too have potential for planned gifts, if properly apprised of the opportunities, and can become more closely aligned with an organization at a point in their lives where they are making long-term decisions and commitments. For example:

  • Wills are often created by young adults when children come into the picture, in order to lock in the desired guardianship, even if assets are still negligible.

    Since a will is being drawn up, why not include a small percentage or residue to a favorite charity? (Appropriate stewardship could well see this future gift grow substantially).

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

    These trusts have an option for lifetime payments or up to 20 years, making them a possibility for younger contributors.

  • Life Insurance premiums are usually determined by age and health.

    This makes it easy for a younger and healthier person to leverage a major gift to charity, either by transferring ownership or with a beneficiary designation.

  • Designated Beneficiary on a bank account, brokerage account, CD, etc.

    This can have the same outcome as a bequest in a will without the hassle of having to see an attorney, although the designation is more easily changed.

  • IRA's and 401ks require a beneficiary designation but are often started when there is not a spouse in the picture, and face double taxation if left to anyone other than a spouse or charity (making Uncle Sam the real beneficiary).

    Why not leave all or at least part of it to a favorite charity.

  • Contingent Beneficiary

    Just in case!

All of the above are examples of planned giving opportunities available to a wide age spectrum - both young and old can establish a legacy with a favorite charity. And, while it's true that with younger contributors (hopefully) the wait is longer for the gift to mature, this early tie to a charity is a wonderful opening for the development of leadership potential and larger current gifts. As a younger donor ages, wealth is likely to accumulate and grow and the right stewardship will ensure that a favored charity continues to be included in the supporter's estate plan.

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About the Author:

Lorri M. Greif, CFRE, is president of Breakthrough Philanthropy, Inc., a fundraising consulting firm specializing in planned giving and unique major gift campaigns, and the home of easyPG", which provides custom-tailored marketing programs for planned giving. For additional information, contact Lorri at or go to or

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