When thinking about what it means to make a personal donation, writing a check once or twice a year to organizations you care about may come to mind. However, when money is tight, it may be challenging for some to give back. Many would like to assist charities and nonprofits whose values and beliefs align with their own, to help preserve these agencies for the future (Sargent and Shang). Planned giving is an alternative to direct donations that can allow donors to do just that.
With the assistance of legal and/or financial advisors, a planned gift is worked into aspects of estate or financial planning, and can include simple bequests in a will or estate plan, gifts of IRAs, retirement or pension plan assets like life insurance or 401K plans, and living trusts and charitable gift annuities.
Planned giving oftentimes provides additional monetary benefits for the donor as a means to prepare for the future and ensure economic stability for family. These benefits – depending on the type of gift chosen – can include tax deductions or other adjustments to finances that save money. Wise financial planning and asset building is an important part of life, regardless of age or income level, and it is essential to develop plans and prepare for the future.
Mike Buchman, employed with Solid Ground for nearly 20 years, and his wife Martha Swain, a Waldorf early childhood educator, began drafting their wills after their daughter, Maddy, was born. “We were obviously thinking about the future, about making the world a better place for our daughter,” Mike expresses. “We are solidly middle class, if that even exists anymore, and we don’t have a lot of wealth. Still, it felt important and right to put some aside for a few organizations that fed our passions and souls. It felt like we were investing in Maddy’s future.”
Mike and Martha chose to include Solid Ground in their planning process because of “the impact Solid Ground makes in the community and the integrity with which its staff does its work every day.”
Mike explained that “making this gift was so easy. We hired an estate planning attorney to help us write our wills. We met for about an hour and talked about our goals and then drafted the legal documents. Including planned giving was as easy as asking them how.”
Solid Ground strongly encourages you to meet with an estate planning attorney or financial advisor, as Mike has done, to ensure that your documents are accurate and fulfill your designs for the future.
Planned giving – in conjunction with estate and financial planning – offers you the opportunity to reach long-term financial stability, provide for your loved ones after you are gone, and support organizations that, with the help of your gift, will continue to provide much-needed services to your community.
“I’ve given a significant portion of my work life to Solid Ground and I think this is an organization that does exceptional things. … We believe that healthy nonprofit organizations are critically needed engines of compassion, service and change,” says Mike. By giving back to organizations that reflect the values you hold dear, you create a legacy of care and support.
We hope you will consider including a gift to Solid Ground when you meet with your advisors to plan for your future. If you already have named Solid Ground in your will, we would very much like the opportunity to thank you for your generosity. Of course, if you prefer to remain anonymous, your gift will be kept completely confidential. Please note that public recognition of your gift can encourage others to do the same.
For more information on planned giving, please consult your professional advisor. If you’re interested in being a part of Solid Ground’s next 40+ years, please contact Leah Lee at 206.694.6852 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.