Community Stories

Make-A-Will Month and the Power of Planned Giving

Learn more about this yearly reminder to create or update your will and how you can give back to your loved ones & your community through your will.

What is Make-A-Will Month?

August is Make-A-Will Month, a reminder to create a will or update your current one. Did you know that only one-third of all adults in the U.S. currently have a will? Many cite that they don’t have one because of time, or it’s not for them. And while it’s true that an individual’s wealth and assets may determine how long the planning process may be, it does not dictate the need.  

Every adult needs a will regardless of age or how many assets they have. Your will is an important and powerful document: it ensures that your belongings end up where you want them to go while providing your family with peace of mind and instructions during a vulnerable time. In other words, it’s the perfect tool to make your mark on everything you care about.  

How can you give through your will?

A will is also a powerful way to leave a legacy and contribute to the lives of people in your community. By leaving a gift to a nonprofit organization or foundation, also called planned giving, you help ensure that the work you care about continues.

 There are many ways to participate in planned giving. Organizations accept cash donations, real estate, stocks, and more. You can also set up your will to give a certain percentage of your estate to charity; even a 1% designation can create a ripple effect.  

Why donors like you are including the Community Foundation in their wills:

Because the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound is here forever. We are this community’s permanent endowment. 

 Long after we’re all gone, the Community Foundation will be a community asset—a collection of many donors’ gifts—to fund our communities’ needs and opportunities. We are furthering our mission to inspire philanthropy that creates positive change in our communities together.  

 When you give to the Community Foundation, you are collaborating with a knowledgeable partner. We are committed to listening, learning, and ensuring that all our work is community-informed. We can advise you, whether you know exactly how you want to give or aren’t sure what you want to support. We are experienced, knowledgeable grantmakers who know the community, its needs, and the organizations making an impact.

 You are also investing directly in our communities. The Community Foundation is local and place-based. We are here expressly for Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties. 

 A gift through your will ties your legacy to a powerful network of generous people who share your vision for a stronger, more vibrant community. Planned gifts ensure enduring community assets that allow the foundation to address our community's changing needs and opportunities—now and for generations to come. By investing through us, you help ensure that the Community Foundation continues to be a place that addresses unmet needs and builds strong, lasting community assets so that people want to live, work, and stay here—now and for years to come.

What options does the Community Foundation offer for planned giving?

We have flexible giving options: 

  • Norma Schuiteman Sustaining Fund. Through gifts to this fund, you can invest directly in the Community Foundation’s programs and operations, helping to ensure that we have the committed, professional staff we need to advise and fulfill the wishes of community donors.  
  • Community Funds. These funds support our grantmaking and community impact work. When you establish or donate to a Community Fund, you provide the Community Foundation with flexible resources that allow us to fulfill our role as listeners and learners in our communities, strengthen nonprofits, and respond to our communities’ changing needs and opportunities.
  • Specific Causes. Indicate a specific cause you care about, and the Community Foundation will award grants within your defined sphere or spheres of interest, such as the arts, education, the environment, equity, or economic opportunity.
  • Specific Charities. You can name one or more charities to receive your gifts for a period of time or in perpetuity, and the Community Foundation will designate your gift for your hand-picked organization(s).  

In addition, all community members who generously contribute to the Community Foundation's endowment through wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, and other types of planned gifts are invited to join the Community Foundation's newly created Legacy Circle, and engage with other likeminded individuals. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

When you join the group of generous individuals, families, and businesses who have given through the Community Foundation through planned giving, you maximize and localize the impact of your gift—for generations to come.

How can I keep the conversation going with the Community Foundation?

Feel free to contact our Philanthropy & Communications Officer, Mary Lam (she, her), at or call her at 360.705.3340 to discuss your planned gift. 

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