3 Ways You Can Make Planned Gifts to Charity By: Karla Wallack, Executive Director, Affinity Foundation In difficult times – such as this past year – non-profit foundations serve a vital purpose as lifelines for struggling families and communities. As Executive Director of the Affinity Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Affinity Federal Credit Union, I understand the importance that organizations like ours do in helping alleviate people’s immediate financial distress in times of need, as well as more long-term goals related to financial uplift and empowerment through education and help obtaining employment. I’m also keenly aware of the importance to non-profits like ours of donations from generous individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Of course, not everyone can afford to make such a donation at the present time. But one way to contribute without having to commit financial resources right now is through a planned gift. A planned gift allows you to arrange to donate a sum of money, equity or property to a cause or organization at a future date, often after the donor has passed on, rather than right now. There are three ways that you can make a planned gift: 1. Bequest part of your estate. This involves simply specifying in your will that you are leaving a certain amount of money or other form of capital to a particular organization. Your estate may be subject to estate or inheritance taxes; reserving some of it for charitable giving can therefore result in you or your heirs paying less in taxes with the benefit of your money going directly to the non-profit organization of your choice. 2. Name a non-profit beneficiary of your retirement assets. Declaring that your remaining retirement assets after you’ve passed should be given to a non-profit organization is another option. This allows a charitable or other type of non-profit organization to access your IRA or company retirement or pension plan tax-free, since such organizations are exempt from paying the sometimes hefty (depending on time of access) taxes on withdrawal from these vehicles. This is a good option if you don’t have close family and want to ensure your retirement assets go to a good cause. 3. Name a non-profit beneficiary of your life insurance policies. You can also arrange for a favored organization to receive your life insurance payout. This is another good option if you don’t have close family that needs the money to cover expenses and you don’t plan on cashing in on the policy. All these methods of planned giving have the benefit of allowing you to make donations at a time when you no longer need the money, helping to cement your legacy as a charitable member of the community without burdening you financially here and now. If you have questions about planned gifts, email Karla Wallack at email@example.com to discuss estate planning today. Planned giving isn’t just for the wealthy; we can all make a difference, whether now or in the future. And your gift can coincide with your financial planning goals as well, while ensuring your money goes exactly where you want it to go – and benefits what you most care about. This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.