Get a will – it’s a matter of leadership

by | Aug 4, 2016 | CEO/Executive Directors, Fundraising, Personal Leadership | 3 comments

This morning on Marketplace Morning Report, host David Brancaccio referenced recent deaths of well known people like the artist Prince and exhorted listeners to “GET A WILL.”

“The death rate in America is still 100%.”
– David Brancaccio, host Marketplace Morning Report

The new research indicates that still over 50% of Americans die without leaving a will. I see this as a leadership issue. As leaders, we need to have the personal leadership to make sure our affairs are in order. And as nonprofit leaders, I consider asking donors to leave our nonprofit in their will to be a public service. (I even wrote about that aspect of planned giving eight years ago.) Whether or not they actually do leave us in their estate plans, we’re starting a conversation that many are still reluctant to have.

Over 20 years ago, I heard a speaker say,

“We’ll all be philanthropists at death. It’s up to us whether we choose what causes to support or whether we’re content to let the government decide for us.”

As nonprofit leaders, let’s help our supporters and staff and board make the decision for themselves.

You can listen to the entire show (it’s only a few minutes) at:
Marketplace Morning Report

Just a note: I’m not a lawyer, nor have I played one on TV, but be careful with only relying on online templates. I’ve found online templates get my thinking organized. But in my experience, it’s always best to run it past a local attorney. Laws vary state-to-state and your situation may have unique circumstances not accounted for in a generic template.


  1. Chris H

    50% of Americans die without leaving a will?? That’s absolute madness. I agree with Marc – talk about missing an opportunity!

  2. winnipeg life coach

    Great advice. Don’t want to be in the situation of having waited too long!


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