Here at Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa, we rely on our generous donors, both individuals and corporate, to assist seniors in our community with nutritious meals and wellness checks. 

One method that our donors use to include Meals on Wheels in their long-term donation plans is through a planned gift. This particular donation method is not as well known as a single or monthly donation but can have a great impact on our seniors and community. 

So what is a planned giving, and how could it be used as part of your donation strategy? 

What is Planned Giving?What is Planned Giving

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain your legacy.” – Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

Planned giving refers to a contribution a donor is making beyond their lifetime. A planned gift ensures that after you pass, your remaining assets and money are still working for the causes that mean the most to you. 

Planned gifts are intended for the nonprofit’s future use and are usually made through an estate plan or will. Both are long-term plans and so including Meals on Wheels in an estate plan or will can contribute to our funding goals that will help seniors all over the country receive the help they need.  But how do you define an estate plan or will? An estate plan is a plan of action for assets that may apply during a person’s life or after they pass away. And a will dictates where assets go after the person passes away. 

Planned gifts differ from normal donations in several ways. Not only are they a longer-term donation that will not apply until a later date, but they can potentially be a much larger contribution. A regular donation, either one-time or recurring, is usually limited by the donor’s income. 

That said, there is a great misconception that planned giving is “only for the wealthy.” But that’s not the case! Many people believe that making estate plans and wills is an important step in protecting family members, loved ones, and their chosen causes. Having an estate plan or will in place before you pass ensures that your money and assets make the most impact on what you care about, whether those are people directly or your community at large. 


Types of Planned Giving 

A planned gift can be in the form of life insurance, equity, real estate, or many other options. This means that the contribution can be much larger than the donor would normally be able to make. Each of these forms of planned giving also comes with unique tax benefits. A planned gift can take many forms and there are three types that are the most common, including a bequest, annuity, and trust. 



The first type of planned gift is the bequest. This is the most common type of gift since it usually involves a one-time gift of money or assets. 

This is a gift like cash, property, or real estate that is left to the charitable organization. There is a wide range of gifts that could be donated since it is left up directly to the donor what they want to leave. Money can be given from a bank account, property from an estate, or even valuable jewelry or other tangible assets. 



The next popular gift type is an annuity. This refers to a contract between an individual and a charity. The donor usually gives a gift of a lump sum of money to the organization. 

The organization then invests the money and gives the donor payments on a regular schedule according to the contract. When the donor passes away, the remaining invested money will be transferred to the organization. 

TrustThe Impact of Planned Giving 

Another popular gift type is a trust. A charitable trust holds assets and distributes them according to the owner’s specifications. These can be used to create a long-term form of charitable giving. 

These can be set up to operate during the donor’s life and after they pass away, ensuring the gift is secure. There are two types of charitable trusts, a charitable remainder trust, and a charitable lead trust. 

The Impact of Planned Giving 

The impact of planned giving is that a donor can leave a legacy. Many people chose organizations that encompass their ideals and personal values. They want to give to an organization that they feel is making a difference in the world. In this way, they can help secure the future of the organization. 

Not only will the money help fund future programs, but the organization knows that they can count on that gift in the future and make long-term plans. Planned gifts can help organizations weather hard times and make plans for the future. They also allow the donor to leave a mark in the world and help a cause that is close to their heart.

Making A Planned Gift to Meals on Wheels 

Integrating planned giving into your donation strategy is a way to ensure that you are making an impact in your community. This is why Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa considers planned giving a vital part of our success, and know that when we are included in your plans, everyone benefits. 

While the entire process can seem lengthy or confusing, our expert fundraising staff can walk you through exactly what you need to do! 

The first step in making a planned gift to Meals on Wheels is to fill out our Declaration of Support online form. This form will help us begin the documentation process, making sure that all of the proper paperwork is ready for your trust, will, annuity, or any other type of planned gift. One of our staff members will then get in touch with you, to continue the process, which we will explain to you further. 

Whether you are a veteran philanthropist or the entire process is new to you, we are here to help! Give us a call at (866) 669-6697 or drop us a note here