FAQs Regarding Bequests To The Rotary Foundation 


What is a bequest? 

A bequest is a designation of a gift to The Rotary Foundation that will come from your estate. Nothing is paid during your lifetime. 


Does a bequest constitute an irrevocable obligation to pay the amount specified? 

No. A bequest is a non-binding statement of your intention to leave assets to charity. It is understood that at the time that you establish a bequest, many years may pass before your bequest matures. During your life, your financial fortunes may be blessed and your gift may be larger than you now estimate … or, you may need assets to support your present lifestyle and nothing may ultimately remain. The Rotary Foundation understands this. Your bequest is simply a statement that you are changing your estate plan to make a provision for the Foundation and that you currently estimate the value of your gift as some specific amount. 


How do I establish a bequest? 

You add a codicil to your will; amend your living trust; designate The Rotary Foundation as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, your IRA, your pension plan, your annuity, etcetera. You specify that upon your passing a specific amount or a percentage of your estate is to go to The Rotary Foundation. 


How do I notify The Rotary Foundation of my intention to leave them assets?

Simply complete Your Rotary Legacy and follow its instructions for providing a copy to The Rotary Foundation. Estimate the current amount of the value of your bequest. 


What types of assets might be good to bequest to charity? 

Generally, donors specify a percentage of their estate or a specific dollar amount they wish to leave to The Rotary Foundation in their living trust but there can be significant tax benefits available to donors who designate the Foundation as the beneficiary of their IRA, pension plan or annuity. If you are contemplating a significant bequest, you might wish to discuss this with your professional advisor. 


If I designate my bequest to The Rotary Foundation, is it possible to have the Foundation make lifelong payments to a friend or family member? 

Yes! Many Rotarians specify in their estate plan that assets which pass to The Rotary Foundation are to first fund a vehicle which will make lifelong payments to an heir with the residual passing to an endowment serving an area of Rotary’s work which has special significance to them. Depending on the vehicle selected to provide income distributions, the amounts need to be $10,000; $100,000; or more. If contemplating a gift of $100,000 or more, contact Rotary Staff Member Mike Dunlap at (760) 715-9984. 


Are there requirements that the individual(s) who are to receive lifelong payments must meet to be eligible? 

Generally speaking, there can be no more than two individuals receiving income for life and each must be at least 50 years of age when the gift is established. Alternatively, a gift of at least $100,000 can fund a special type of charitable trust which will distribute income to anyone you specify for a 20 year term. 


I want to support a specific area of the Foundation’s work. Am I able to direct my bequest to further Rotary’s efforts in this area? 

You can specify that your gift will be used to support the: 

  • World Fund (the Trustees decide which area of Rotary’s work is most in need of financial support and designate how the funds will be spent); 

  • Share (half of the funds will be allocated to your District with your District Leaders having wide discretion in allocation of the funds with the bulk of the remaining funds designated to the World Fund); 

  • The Rotary Peace Centers; or 

  • Any of Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus 

    • Promoting Peace 

    • Fighting Disease 

    • Providing Clean Water 

    • Saving Mothers and Children 

    • Supporting Education 

    • Growing Local Economies 



Rotary has been important to me. Is there a way that my gift to Rotary can establish a fund that will exist in perpetuity with annual distributions supporting a specific area of Rotary’s work? 

Yes, for bequests of at least $25,000 you can establish a fund bearing the name(s) of individuals you designate that will exist as a permanent endowment within The Rotary Foundation and make distributions annually, in perpetuity. Your options for what you would be able to designate for support by your endowment increase as the amount of your bequest increases. For further information, see Major Gifts, Major Impact brochure. 


How do I know that an endowment will be established and make distributions to support the area we have selected? 

The Rotary Foundation wants to honor your wishes and will provide a one page document detailing your instructions. You and a senior member of the Foundation’s staff sign the document which is placed in your file at Rotary’s headquarters providing direction to future generations insuring that your directives are followed.



Is there someone I can speak with for more information?

Absolutely. For general questions, please feel free to contact Daniel Gensler or Dave Breeding.