Planned Giving

  • What is Planned Giving?

    Planned giving is the process of thoughtfully including a charitable gift in your estate plans. It is a method of establishing your legacy of support for the organization you love while providing for your current financial needs. You can help ensure that the American Legion Auxiliary has a lasting impact for the generations that follow by providing for the continuation of our many programs and services that enhance the lives of those we serve.

    The American Legion Auxiliary’s purpose has always been philanthropic in its vision to give back to those who have given so much in order to preserve freedom in our great nation.

    For nearly 100 years we have stood by veterans, servicemembers and their families, providing in times of need, supporting in times of sorrow and celebrating in times of joy. We have witnessed those we serve respond, rebound and reclaim a positive view of life. That’s why we are so passionate about the work we do and why we ask you to share that passion through planned giving, the ultimate expression of Service Not Self.

    Philanthropy and individual gifts have been essential in shaping the history of our organization, and these contributions will have an important role in its promising future. Your actions now can have a profound impact in the life of another person. And you can help contribute to that future by including the American Legion Auxiliary in your estate and other financial preparations.

    Why is Planned Giving Important?

    People of all backgrounds, education and income levels rely on a variety of planned giving methods to provide for their loved ones as well as support beloved charities, such as the American Legion Auxiliary. In fact, many methods of planned giving ensure that assets that would otherwise be subject to heavy taxation are instead given to dear causes; this means the assets left to loved ones are taxed less. Through planned giving, donors are able to meet their current and future financial needs while providing the Auxiliary with financial support later. You leave a lasting impact on our mission of Service Not Self for generations to come.

    Individual gifts are critical to support the American Legion Auxiliary’s wide range of programs and services vital to helping veterans, military and their families. That need is increasing. A new generation of young, wounded veterans will need our help for decades to come.

    How Do I Give?

    No matter the size of any individual donation, collectively, every gift adds up to helping ensure the Auxiliary is here for generations to come. You can establish your legacy of belief in the Auxiliary when you include the Auxiliary in your estate plans and other financial preparations — otherwise known as planned giving.

    The American Legion Auxiliary has a legacy of giving back to our veterans, military and their families. Our members have established this tradition through nearly 100 years of mission-related programs that serve veterans and military, develop our youth and promote patriotism in communities across America.Because the administrative costs of our programs are paid from members' dues and other sources, all money contributed to the American Legion Auxiliary is used to benefit the intended Auxiliary program, service, department or the Auxiliary Foundation. You don’t need a large estate to give and make a lasting impact.


    Gifts Through Will or Trust

    Trusts Wills

    How it works:
    1) You include a bequest in your will or revocable trust
    2) Upon your death, your will or trust directs a bequest to the American Legion Auxiliary for the purpose(s) you specified

    Benefits:
    1) You can change your bequest at any time
    2) Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime
    3) If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift's full value
    4) You can direct your bequest to a particular program (please be sure to check with the American Legion Auxiliary to ensure your gift can be used as intended)
    5) You can have the satisfaction of knowing your bequest will ensure the American Legion Auxiliary lives up to the needs of our veterans and military families forever

    Gifts Through Life Insurance Policies

    Insurance graphic
    How it works:
    1) You assign specific rights in an insurance policy to the American Legion Auxiliary and receive an income tax deduction
    2) The American Legion Auxiliary may either surrender the policy for its current cash value or hold it and receive the proceeds upon your death

    Benefits:
    1) You receive a federal income tax deduction
    2) You can contribute a fully paid-up policy OR
    3) If premiums remain to be paid, you can receive income tax deductions for contributions to the American Legion Auxiliary to pay these premiums
    4) You can name the American Legion Auxiliary as owner or beneficiary of a new policy and make continuous gifts to offset premiums the organization will pay to maintain the policy. There is no charitable deduction for this option
    5) You have the satisfaction of knowing your gift will provide critical support to the American Legion Auxiliary in the future

    Gifts Through Retirement Plans

    Retirement Graphic
    How it works:
    1) You name the American Legion Auxiliary as the beneficiary for a specific amount or percentage of your retirement plan benefits
    2) Upon your death, your plan administrator transfers those designated funds to the American Legion Auxiliary

    Benefits:
    1) Your funds bequeathed to the American Legion Auxiliary will not be subject to federal income taxes, according to current tax law
    2) Please contact a professional tax advisor to check if your funds will have federal estate tax liability
    3) You have the satisfaction of knowing your gift will provide future support to the American Legion Auxiliary

    Sample Bequest Language

    1) Percentage of Total Estate for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath _____ percent (%) of my total estate to the American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters located at 8945 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260, to be used to support the American Legion Auxiliary mission.
    2) Percentage of Residual for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath _____ percent (%) of the rest and residue of my estate to the American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters located at 8945 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260, to be used to support the American Legion Auxiliary mission.
    3) Specific Amount for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $______ to the American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters located at 8945 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260, to be used to support the American Legion Auxiliary mission.
    4) Specific Amount for Specific Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $______ to be used for ____________________________ at the American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters located at 8945 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260.
    5) Contingent Bequest: In the event that my spouse predeceases me, the Trustee shall distribute $_______ to the American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters located at 8945 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260, to be used to support the American Legion Auxiliary mission.

    Life Stage Planner

    Early Career (Ages 20’s & 30’s)
    Now could be the perfect time to start defining your philanthropic ambitions and searching for causes that are important to you. As you're starting out in your career and in life, you’ll find answers to life’s questions, looking at both short- and long-term plans and searching for ways to make an impact or establish your legacy.

    Planned giving can provide solutions and personal satisfaction.

    It’s never too early to start researching and planning for your estate and will. Your family comes first, and we understand that; our family comes first at the Auxiliary too: veterans, servicemembers and their families. But, when making estate plans, consider adding a charitable gift to the American Legion Auxiliary.

    • Start saving early. The amount you need to save every day during your 20s and 30s to provide for a comfortable retirement later is only a fraction of what you would need to save if you started doing so in your later years.
    • Find causes that are important to you, and find ways to perpetuate their mission and impact. Giving in any way to an organization is always appreciated.
    • If you haven’t yet, contact a financial advisor or estate planner to make a will for you and your family. Even if your liquid assets aren’t great, your personal assets and possessions can add up quickly. Accidents can happen, and if you’re not prepared with a will upon your death, your assets could be divided in ways which you might not have desired.

    Mid-Career (Ages 40s & 50s)
    Undoubtedly, this is a busy time for you and your family. Concerns about aging parents, familial duties, financial obligations and finding time to relax and spend time with those you love will fill most of your time. Planned giving can save you time, bring peace of mind, ease financial burdens, establish your legacy and help bring Auxiliary programs to our nation’s heroes.

    • Contact a financial advisor or estate planner to help you construct an estate plan or will if you do not have one. Accidents can happen and if you’re not prepared with a will, upon your death, your assets could be divided in ways which you might not have desired.
    • Now is the time during which you will be accumulating wealth and also increasing debt. Consider the long- and short-term benefits of providing a donation or preparing a planned gift. A charitable remainder trust can help you save for retirement, generate an income tax deduction and provide a gift to the Auxiliary.

    Preparing for Retirement (Ages 50s & 60s)
    Retirement is so close! Do you have a plan? Being financially secure to continue on life’s never-ending adventures takes planning.

    Whether or not you have a plan, consider the option of planned giving. There are many reasons for planned giving — tax benefits, diversifying your investments, establishing your legacy, exemplifying your personal values, making a larger gift than would have been possible and so many more.

    • Contact a financial advisor or estate planner to help you construct an estate plan or will if you do not have one. Accidents can happen, and if you’re not prepared with a will upon your death, your assets could be divided in ways which you might not have desired.
    • If you have a will, make sure it is up to date and prepared according to your wishes.
    • Save aggressively for your approaching retirement. Examine your finances and spending habit. When all is accounted for, including supplemental sources of income such as Social Security, will you be able to sustain your lifestyle comfortably?
    • Consult frequently with your financial advisor to make sure you’re on track for a comfortable retirement.
    • You are probably at the peak of your earning years. A planned gift can help reduce increased income taxes. Trusts can also be a great way to maximize tax benefits.

    Retirement
    It’s time to kick back and relax after years of hard work and saving money. You deserve it. But, during that time, did you stay connected to the organizations that mean something special to you? In between life’s many obligations, it can be difficult to find the time and finances for others. But, with more free time, this period of your life could be the one that defines you most. It’s highly recommended that during this time you periodically review and update your will and estate plans if necessary.

    • Retirement is surely a time to keep a close watch over and appropriately portion out your finances and assets, but if you are able, annual gifts to the Auxiliary help sustain our efforts
    • Review and update your will and estate plans annually. After providing for loved ones, consider adding a gift to the Auxiliary. Charitable gift annuities during retirement can be tax-deductible and are a great way to offset taxes.
    • Can you spare some time? Consider giving your time to the Auxiliary as a volunteer.
    • Do you have a life insurance plan that was intended to protect a spouse who no longer needs it or a child who is now financially independent, or to complete payment on an already paid-for mortgage? Consider naming the American Legion Auxiliary as the beneficiary of that plan.
    • Retirement plans, if left to a beneficiary such as a spouse or child, can be subject to taxes of up to 35 percent. Direct designation to an organization such as the Auxiliary ensures these funds avoid income and estate taxes.

    Your Gifts at Work

    Your generous donations go directly to the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary —to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.

    The American Legion Auxiliary’s programs and services promote citizenship, patriotism and leadership in communities throughout the country and in Auxiliary affiliates around the world. Your donations support these programs:

    ALA Girls State/Girls Nation – offers young women the opportunity to learn government in an intense, weeklong experiential learning environment.
    Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation – provides much needed support to our veterans in our communities and medical facilities.
    Children & Youth – promotes educating our children about the important concepts of good citizenship.
    Education – through Spirit of Youth Scholarships, Mission Scholarships and Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarships, we support the children of our nation’s heroes.
    Auxiliary Emergency Fund – embodying Service Not Self, members quietly award critical financial assistance grants to members during times of dire hardships.
    Community Service — volunteers in Community Service help with events like stand downs, welcome-home and send-off events.

    Your donations also go to support other programs and events that the American Legion Auxiliary co-sponsors:
    National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
    Operation Comfort Warriors
    Operation: Military Kids
    Yellow Ribbon
    Heroes to Hometowns
    USO
    JROTC/ROTC
    And many more!

     

    Generous Legacy Gifts

    The American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fundreceived a most generous gift from the late Grace S. Schultz. Grace was a Paid Up For Life Auxiliary member of Illinois’ Unit 232. She enjoyed 74 years of continuous membership until her passing on July 21, 2010. She continued her legacy of giving through a charitable gift in her will, bequeathing $61,000 to the national Auxiliary Emergency Fund. She directed similar contributions in her will, including the American Legion Auxiliary Square Unit 232 and the American Legion Square Post 232 in Illinois.

    Lillian Vitelli left a generous gift to the national Auxiliary Emergency Fund. Vitelli was a dedicated 12-year member of North Carolina Unit 24 until her passing on January 24, 2012. She chose to continue her legacy through a charitable gift in her will, bequeathing $5,000 to the national Auxiliary Emergency Fund.

    The American Legion Auxiliary received a special bequest from Inez S. Shaffer. She was a Paid Up For Life Auxiliary member of Wisconsin Unit 12 and enjoyed 24 years of membership in the Auxiliary. In her will, she left a legacy creating an unrestricted gift of $18,000 to the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters.

    Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wis., was a devoted member of Ross Wilcox Unit 79. She joined the Auxiliary in 1929 and was active until her passing in 1969. With her generous gift of $106,000, she enabled the American Legion Auxiliary to establish and initially fund the American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fund in 1969. Because of her, the Auxiliary continues to offer grant assistance to its members.

    Disclaimer

    Neither the author, publisher nor organization are legal or tax advice providers. These examples are general and may not apply to all individuals. The purpose of this website and publication is to provide accurate and authoritative information of a general character. Prospective donors should consult their personal tax and financial advisors for specific details about making a gift to the American Legion Auxiliary. State laws govern wills, trusts and charitable gifts made in contractual agreements. Professional advice should be sought when considering these as well as all other gifts.

    To learn more about your giving options, please visit www.ALAforVeterans.org or contact our Development Division at (317) 569-4500 or development@ALAforVeterans.org.

     

     

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