General Information

The following  is basic information about making a bequest or gift by will to the NASW Foundation. Careful planning under tax laws designed to encourage philanthropy makes possible a significant contribution to the future of the NASW Foundation and a perpetual recognition of a donor’s support. We address here the ways in which gifts can be made by will to benefit the NASW Foundation.  The suggestions, however, are not all inclusive.  Where tax benefits are mentioned, these relate only to Federal tax laws, but the laws of many states often make possible additional savings.  Since individual circumstances control the most advantageous arrangement for each person, planning must be done in consultation with legal and other advisors.

Saving Clause

A saving clause should be incorporated into any bequest to the NASW Foundation, which is designated or restricted as to use.  No one can anticipate, beyond a certain number of years, developments and opportunities that may occur and the associated adjustments which would be needed.  The flexibility provided by a saving clause is especially desirable.  Such a clause might read as follows:

"In the event it is found by the NASW Foundation Board of Directors  that all or part of the income (all or part of this gift) cannot be used to the best advantage for the above purpose, then all or any part of the income (all or any part of this gift) not so expended may be used for any purpose approved by said Board of Directors, which is within the charitable corporate purposes of the NASW Foundation."

Real Estate

Real estate may be left to the NASW Foundation.  But because the laws of various states differ, it is important that the applicable state laws be considered by an attorney.

Investment Of Funds

The NASW Foundation, in accord with sound investment practices, may commingle its investments, allocating to individual funds a proper, fractional interest in the returns of the combined portfolio.  Though not essential, it is highly desirable from NASW Foundation’s standpoint to include a sentence in gift statements which might read as follows: 

“The principal of this gift may be commingled with other funds of the NASW Foundation for investment.”

Gift Of Securities

In making gifts of securities by will, special care should be taken to account for possible stock splits, changes in corporate name, mergers, or even a sale by the donor of specified securities.  By careful wording, the donor and his legal advisor can avoid the failure of a gift through operation of such contingencies.


Changes in an existing will can be easily accomplished by an additional sentence or paragraph in an amendment known as a codicil.  Such changes must, however, be completed with the same formality as the will itself.  The forms suggested above may be used in either a will or a codicil.

Will Review And Revisions

As family, residence, or other circumstances change, it is always advisable to review and revise a will to reflect new situations.  Many people undertake such a review on an annual basis.  Review and revision ensure that estate plans will be properly carried out.  

Life Income Funds (Charitable Remainder Trusts)

A will is basic to any well-planned estate.  There are, however, other ways in which a donor may make what amounts to a bequest, through a gift during a lifetime.  A carefully planned program of giving involving a combination of current gifts, gifts to Life Income Funds, and gifts by will can result in a more rewarding and substantial contribution than might otherwise be possible.

A Life Income Fund is an arrangement whereby a gift is made to the NASW Foundation in trust, either by will or during one’s lifetime, with the provision that income is to be paid to the donor or other persons for life.  A variety of arrangements is possible, and plans can be made to suit individual situations.  A Life Income Fund can be established through a single gift or entirely by will; additions to an existing Fund (other than an annuity trust) may be made during lifetime or by will.

Legal Advice

A will should always be drawn by, or with the advice of, a lawyer.  Suggestions in this piece do not diminish the need for legal counsel. The NASW Foundation has been indebted to, and dependent upon, the generosity of members and friends who have aided in building its private resources.  Each gift, which augments permanent resources, becomes a perpetual tribute to its giver and provides a means of sharing in lasting achievements.  A gift to the NASW Foundation will help advance the social work profession and represent a noble expression of devotion to the enduring public good. 

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NASW Foundation Annual Fund

The Foundation implements an annual fundraising campaign to fulfill, expand, and amplify its core mission and programs. The Foundation raises dollars to fund essential operating expenses, including staff salaries, overhead, and programmatic costs.   Learn More >>

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NASW Foundation Donors and Partners

The Foundation works to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice. The Foundation extends its thanks to all NASW members and friends who kindly provide financial support.  Learn More >>

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Memorials and Tributes . . .

To honor living individuals, deceased colleagues, mentors, friends, or loved ones, by making a tax-deductible contribution please visit our Memorials and Tributes section. All gifts will be acknowledged on the NASW Foundation website and gifts of $100, or more, will be acknowledged in NASW's new magazine Social Work Advocates, which is published six times each year. You can also leave tributes to NASW friends who have passed away on the NASW Foundation Blog.