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Live Every Day as a Hero

By Wayne Olson

What would it be like to live every day knowing you are a hero? Not just one day or a day every once in a while, but every day? What if you could live every day knowing that no matter what happened, you will have done something good?

It’s easier than you think. You can do it with just a little planning. Simply include your favorite charity in your will or estate plan. When you include your favorite charity or charities in your plan, you can know that when you die, you will make a gift to a cause you support and cherish. No matter what you do, and no matter what else happens, when you die you will do something good forever, and that makes you a hero. That is something that should make you feel really good, every day of your life.

Unfortunately, two out of three adults don’t even have a will, much less a planned gift for charity. Interestingly this statistic is consistent from the poorest to the richest among us. A Wall Street Journal article revealed that half of all investors with $10 million or more, still have no will. Of those adults who do have a will, only one in ten include their church or charity in their plans.

Establishing a will establishes a commitment to take care of your family and friends. There is comfort in knowing you will not leave your wishes to be figured out by a judge who will try to decide what’s best for your family and friends. In the same way, remembering a charitable organization in your will, even with modest sums, means that the things you found important in life will be supported after your death. Remembering your church or favorite nonprofit (or both) in your will means your continued support to this cause, forever. 

And, it’s easy to become a hero. A gift to charity does not have to be large. It can be for a specific dollar amount, or for a percentage of your estate. It can also be contingent on other things happening (or not happening) first. When you plan, you have control. You can give what you want, when you want, on the terms you want. And once you sign your will, you can live every day knowing that no matter what else happens, your wishes will be known and followed.

Contact the Community Foundation and your charity’s planned giving officer or your attorney to see just how easy it is to make a difference for the causes you care about and live the rest of your life as a hero.

Wayne Olson is the author of multiple books and a frequent speaker and trainer of customer relations and leadership for for-profit corporations and he trains nonprofits and their leaders in fundraising and donor relations. Wayne has been a keynote speaker at Nonprofit University and has served on three local, nonprofit boards. He can be reached at