by Sue Ann Larson, Fundraising Director, 2015-2017
The League of Women Voters of Dane County deeply values the vigorous financial support members provide that permits us to be the active and effective organization in Dane County that we are. Through the year, the League invites donations in a variety of ways. They include supporting the publication of Candidates’ Answers, honoring the League of Women Voters birthday on February 14, engaging in a May Member Challenge and receiving donations with annual membership renewals. The League also benefits from non-member contributions, memorial gifts, and, especially important to the long-term financial stability of the unit, gifts from members who arrange for planned giving.
Planned giving is a diverse area of financial planning that offers members a range of options that will help support the League during one’s lifetime and beyond. Probably the most basic way to do that is to make the League the beneficiary of a bequest of either cash, securities/investments, real estate, other personal property, and/or life insurance. But there are additional options as well including gifts of retirement plan assets (qualified charitable distributions) and charitable gift annuities.
Guidelines for retirement plan asset giving allow one at age 70.5 to transfer funds from a traditional or Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account) directly to the League as a "qualified public charity” (non-profit organization). There may not be a tax deduction for giving from a traditional IRA but there may be from a Roth IRA and for designating the LWVDC at the end of life as a beneficiary from the estate. Congressional authorization for these tax-free donations is renewed annually, however, and could change depending on Congressional decision-making.
Guidelines for charitable gift annuities allow one to create a trust to benefit the LWVDC during one’s lifetime or after. The beneficiary of the trust receives payments for a set period of time or throughout their lives, and then the remainder of the principal passes on to the charitable organization. i.e. the LWVDC. A second type of trust is a revocable living trust. The individual, or a bank or family member, acts as a trustee who manages the person’s assets during their lifetime. A living trust allows allocations to change depending on the will of the owner and the distribution provisions remain private.
Planned giving allows each of us to play a very significant role in ensuring the financial security of the League of Women Voters of Dane County. By making a planned gift, we become valued partners in building a sound foundation for the League’s important work. If you are uncertain about your assets providing for you through your lifetime, planned giving is an especially appealing option. It allows you to make a commitment to the future of League while not compromising your own financial security. Please take time to review these giving opportunities to think about which would work best for you. We encourage you to act now to include the LWVDC in your future financial planning!