Perhaps the most powerful and common reason
why the rich give is the idea most commonly referred to as “legacy.”
At some point in your life,
there comes a moment when it becomes important – vital, in fact – to focus your
energies on a cause and give to charity with all the passion that went into
amassing your worth. But what drives so many generous givers to this moment?
Wall Street Journal article points out that it’s the age-old, if hackneyed,
Beyond a doubt, there are
certain tax advantages to well-timed and well-planned charity; the tax code is
designed for this. But also it is important to realize that there is a history
to the tax code. Regardless however convoluted the reason, many a tax advantage
exists beyond the lobbying of non-profits and the work of those set to take advantage
for fiduciary reasons. No, such advantages exist to recognize the urge to
provide a legacy.
Planning for your estate and your wealth, in
life and after death, is usually about “legacy” in one form or another. Your
family is part of your legacy, that is oftentimes a give, but the missions you
held dear in life are just as much a part of your legacy. In fact, they are an extension of your ideas, dreams
and hopes for the world, or some small corner of it.
The original article goes as far
as to say that legacy, in broad terms, is why we give to charity in the first
place. So, what will your legacy be, and what do you want to leave for the
world? If there is something that you care about, perhaps it is worth acting
upon, either in life or as a bequest.
Reference: The Wall Street
Journal (March 8, 2012) “Why
the Rich Give to Charity”