Americans are considered the most charitable people in the world. According to a 2011 Charities Aid Foundation survey involving 153 countries, two out of three Americans (65 percent) donated to charity, two out of five (43 percent) volunteered their time and roughly three out of four (73 percent) helped a stranger. The philanthropic spirit of Americans, however, is still not reflected in their estate plans.
It may seem strange, but I get excited when I see a package from a law firm in my inbox. My heart skips a beat. I can’t wait to tear open the envelope and see what’s inside. Most often it’s notification that my organization was chosen to receive a bequest by some wonderful person we’ve never heard of who has left us a donation in his or her will.
We recognize that many people are looking to dip their toes in philanthropy, but aren’t sure where to start. To help launch this process, and answer some of those early questions, Sound Philanthropy has developed a series of simple guides.