By definition, a bequest is a gift of personal property (money, a house, etc) that is made through a will. Yet not all bequests are created equal.
In her book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Giving Back,” Elizabeth Ziemba, J.D., M.P.H., notes that a recent edition of Giving USA, a report published annually by The Giving Institute, reported that charitable organizations received more than $23.15 billion bequests in 2007. These gifts came in many different forms, and it’s important for fundraising officers to clearly understand their differences.
Ziemba explained that there are four basic types of bequests or gifts that can be made in a will. All of these can be mixed and matched in the donor’s will, depending on giving goals. The four types are:
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