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Benefits bequests best

  1. Dec 13, 2008 #1
    Which would best benefit a charity - an immediate gift, a gift bestowed over a lifetime, or a gift willed upon death?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2008 #2


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    What do you want to achieve? If a charity is facing a one-time expense and you can make a timely donation, go for it. One of my favorite charities is Maine's Home for Little Wanderers - shelter for very young children. They have on-going expenses, and they might best be served by a nice endowment that can provide a steady source of income (can't touch the principal) year after year to provide food and clothing. The same for an animal shelter. You can never predict who is going to get control of a charity's funds, so the best bet for long-term giving (before or after death) is to set up a protected fund that will generate some income in perpetuity - that way, an unethical manager can't abscond with the principal and enrich himself/herself. Universities have staff and procedures in place to prevent this kind of crap, but often the neediest and most effective non-profits do not.
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