You Can Award a Gold Medal of Thanks with Your Charitable Gift
In February many of us watched the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. We saw alpine skiers dash down a mountain at 110 kilometers per hour, snowboarders do triple flips and land on their feet, and figure skaters perform with precision and grace. We may have assumed that much of the amazing talent we witnessed was genetic, and while it is true that many champions are gifted with certain physical attributes, so are many others who never win a medal. However, those who are highly successful often have another type of “genetic” connection—one that can result in a charitable gift of thanks.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell notes that psychologists have engaged in a spirited debate as to whether there is such a thing as “innate talent.” His answer is yes, but that talent is not enough. Those who excel—whether in sports, the arts, or the sciences—practice more than anyone else. Gladwell cites studies showing that 10,000 hours of practice is normally required to achieve mastery of a field. That is true of ice skaters, fiction writers, inventors, and very likely your field as well.
While we watched the gold medalist proudly standing on the highest platform listening to his or her national anthem, somewhere behind the scenes—usually invisible to the television audience—were the parents of the athlete. Very likely they also invested 10,000 hours or more, driving their son or daughter to the skating rink before dawn day after day or to the ski slope every weekend, not to mention the small fortune they spent on private lessons. They certainly deserve a parental gold medal, for much of the success of their children is due to their dedication and sacrifice.
While very few of us ever win Olympic gold, we have achieved degrees of success in various fields, and in many cases our parents have provided the nurturing, education, and guidance that made our success possible. One way you may choose to honor your parents is to establish an endowment in their names at our organization. That would be like awarding them an honorary gold medal. If your parents are still living, they would be celebrated and receive reports regarding the charitable expenditures in their names. If they are no longer living, the endowment would be a way of perpetuating their memory and values.
You can fund the endowment now, using cash, securities, or other property. If that is not currently practical, you can arrange for the endowment to come into existence at the end of your life through a bequest or beneficiary designation.
Another possible gift strategy is when parents have insufficient resources for their residential care in later years. If that is the situation with your parents, it is possible to arrange a gift plan that pays them income for the balance of their lives and then creates the endowment in their names.
Because of the tax savings you can realize, you may be able to make your gift of gratitude at a modest cost. Please call us to discuss how you might award a gold medal of thanks.
- Request a confidential conversation with a gift-planning
officer about gift plans or other options
- Read about our donors and the gifts they've made
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