Legacy Giving: Creating Your Personal Lasting Impression
posted October 13, 2016
Note: originally published in the October 2016 issue of the Traverse City Business News
What will you be doing in 100 years?
While this may seem like a rhetorical question, there actually can be a surprising and inspiring answer – changing lives.
Through planning for a legacy gift, each of us has an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on causes that are most important to us. By making a gift at the end of our lifetime, through a will, trust, or other giving tool, we have the power to change lives for generations to come.
Most of us live here not out of necessity but by choice. We choose to work here, play here, and live here. Some are drawn to this region by the natural beauty, others by the vibrant and varied cultural offerings, and still more because this is a community that cares for those in need. We hike and bike the trails, we sail on the lakes, we go to festivals and events, we attend concerts and plays, and we reach out to help one another. We not only volunteer our time but also contribute money to support the causes that are important to us.
No matter what draws you here, keeps you here, or what you value most about our communities – we all share a love for our community and a desire to see it thrive, forever. Planning for a legacy gift affords us the opportunity to be part of a strong, vibrant, and healthy community beyond our own lifetime.
The Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to be the partner for creating your personal, lasting impression. Our core focus is on endowment and legacy giving. We facilitate giving from donors, creating and supporting endowments, and then match donor passion with purpose through grant awards in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services, and youth.
There are many in our communities who have gone before us, who made plans for a legacy gift through the Community Foundation, and are now impacting lives.
Cleo M. Purdy, a native of Central Lake, valued early experiences and opportunities and had a heart for supporting young children and their families. She died in 2013. Today she is supporting playgroups, preschool, literacy, and resources for young children and families in Central Lake.
Karolina Holtrey cared for her Frankfort community and for the many elements that make a community strong, vibrant, and healthy. She died in 2000. Today she is supporting the library, senior care, and education in Frankfort.
Dr. Ken Taylor believed in ensuring access and availability of excellent health care for all in the community. He died in 2005. Today he is helping to provide health care in our community through the Traverse Health Clinic.
These are but a few examples of the ways in which donors have created lasting, personal legacies in partnership with the Community Foundation. These donors, and others like them, are having a lasting impact on young children and families, on arts and culture, education, those in need of health care, and so much more.
Today, Ms. Purdy, Ms. Holtrey, and Dr. Taylor, and many others like them, are changing lives through legacy gifts to the Community Foundation. And, because of their thoughtful planning for a legacy gift, they will continue to change lives 100 years from now.
What will you be doing in 100 years?
Creating this kind of lasting impact is surprisingly easy and there are a few simple steps to consider as you begin or continue your own planning.
- Talk to your family or those close to you. Talk about the causes that are important to you and whether they are likely to need support not just today, but also years from now.
- Raise the topic of legacy giving with a trusted advisor. Talk with your advisor about your interests and goals and how you would like to support the community. An attorney, accountant, or money manager can help you make the best decisions to support your family and meet your financial and charitable goals.
- Most legacy gifts are quite simple and don’t require much more than adding a sentence like this. “I bequest $________ (or ________ percent of my estate) to ____________________ for ____________________ (designate a specific purpose).
- Finally, let the beneficiary of your plan know of your intention. This conversation will help them know your interests and goals and, ultimately, ensure they can best meet those when the gift is realized.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Wade, Director of Donor Relations
e: firstname.lastname@example.org | p: 231-935-4066