A list of some humongous bequests that should get your planned giving team psyched up for only 3 seconds!

excitementI give you permission to read this list but only if you’ll count to three afterward. Let it sink in.  Then DELETE IT!  Forget about it.

Why? Because your organization will probably never get a gift as large as any of these.

So why am I showing it to you?  Two reasons.

1- It’s fun to think about the potential of your planned giving program.

2- It’s important to come back to earth with the realization that most planned gifts come from ordinary people— not the wealthy.

So go ahead and dream for a moment.  Then get back to work.  Call, write letters, send emails and meet with people who care about your mission so deeply that they are willing to make your organization a member of their family by including you in their estate plan.

Here’s the list of some very large individual bequests:

Note: These are nominal values and have not been adjusted for inflation.  This entire list was found on Wikipedia.


>> Measuring Donor Experiences
>> The Secret: Why people really make major gifts and bequests


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Sophie Penney
6 years ago

A gift of $100k-$500l would be huge for many smaller NPOs and it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Question is, would the NPO be ready to deal with such an infusion of cash. Have the Board, ED and DoD discussed whether such a gift would go into some form of endowed fund, into a particular program, be used for a facility, or possibly sit in an unrestricted gifts fund (if the bequest was unrestricted) until the right project came along?

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