Share the vision behind your giving

Questions & Answers

What is an expression of donor intent?

It is a letter or recording created to share your motivations, hopes and goals with heirs, successor trustees and/or beneficiaries of your philanthropy in a direct, personal and enduring manner.

What are the benefits of creating one?

You ensure that your goals are completely understood, providing the foundation for a spirit of common purpose and harmony among your successors, rather than confusion, conflict or division. You will create a repository of memory and values that will touch and guide all who will follow you.

How is it different from a mission statement?

A mission statement defines the kinds of gifts you want to make – where and how – including the issues, populations served or geographic focus. However, in what is usually a few brief lines, a mission statement by itself cannot capture the fullness of your life and the breadth of your intent, which is so valuable for successors to hear directly from you.

Is it a legal document?

No. It is a strictly personal message, a non-binding complement to legal documents. It is very important that nothing in your expression of intent clouds or contradicts your legal documents. It is advisable to review with your attorney the language of all relevant documents, both binding and non-binding, to ensure that your true intentions are carried out.

What should not be included?

Words are powerful. These will last forever, so keep a positive tone and focus on what would be helpful for your successors to know, always staying true to the terms of your governance documents.

Where should it be kept?

Once it is finished, it should be signed, dated and kept with related legal documents, updated as necessary.  You might want to consider sharing it while you are alive, and enjoy the benefits of the conversations that will follow.

If I order the digital version, how will I access it?

After your purchase is complete, you will receive an email with a key download key for one downloadable copy of the guidebook.