Practical Activist Checklist: Insuring your Legacy for the Future
- Ali Friduss
- November 23, 2021
What does legacy mean to you? What important issues do you want to affect during your life, and after? At the Chef Ann Foundation, we invest in healthy scratch-cooked school food programs that will create a positive impact for generations to come.
While school food reform can be complex and requires systems change, the reward is healthy children who can be at their best to learn and thrive in school and beyond. Our founder, Chef Ann is a renowned "Practical Activist" when it comes to school lunch reform and making your daily choices matter. Like her, our annual donors and supporters are passionate about our mission and want to be part of food systems change.
As a relatively young foundation (12 years old), we are still introducing new donors to this important work every year. Now, as we enter our second decade, we're focusing on how the foundation will be able to grow and sustain our impact for many years to come, and planned giving is an important part of the conversation.
The Power of Planned Giving
When I speak with board members and other “legacy” stakeholders, we often start with the “here and now” impact. As our relationship deepens, I find myself having conversations with donors about what kind of personal legacy they aspire to provide to their families and greater communities. This includes the research that supports healthy school food, and the direct link to better academic performance, overall student health, career development for school food professionals, equity, and planetary health. The long term impact of legacy and planned giving creates stability and continuity for the future. There is power in planned giving since it is not limited by a donor’s current wealth.
I think the most widely acknowledged example of planned giving is The Giving Pledge. This collective approach to legacy giving is powerful and will be transformational over the next century, creating impact throughout our world. This philanthropic pledge acts to inspire others to think about how to create their own individual philanthropic legacy.
“The Purpose of a Life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
For donors, life insurance can be an excellent tool for making charitable gifts, it provides an "amplified" gift with a realistic and predetermined payment plan. Through a relatively small annual cost (the premium), the donor creates a sizable gift by choosing the nonprofit as a beneficiary. This gift can be made without impairing or diluting the control of a family business or other investments. Assets earmarked for family members can be kept intact.
As we age and think about our legacy, most donors think about securing the future for their children and grandchildren. In my career I have been inspired by many donors. I remember one annual donor who reached out to me to discuss a more substantial commitment. This individual was recently married, in good health, and had no children, but planned to start a family. He grew up with a strong family model focused on the culture of philanthropy and wanted to ensure that he would be able to make a transformational contribution regardless of how his personal wealth grew over his lifetime. He chose to leverage his annual charitable cash donations using life insurance to accomplish that goal.
Another example of collective planned giving can be stewarded by an organization’s board of directors. As part of a board member's term commitment, a portion of their annual giving can be dedicated to a life insurance policy which will name the organization as the beneficiary. This will create a pipeline of major gifts that will benefit the organization over decades to come. These commitments will also keep board members actively engaged and involved with the organization well past their term of service. By creating this example, stakeholders and board members can take an active role in the long term financial sustainability of the organization.
Bluestone Life's Premiums with Purpose™
If you're not ready for a legacy gift, Chef Ann Foundation can also benefit whenever you purchase a life insurance policy from Bluestone Life. Through their Premiums with Purpose, high-impact nonprofits like Chef Ann Foundation can be chosen to receive a complimentary benefit at no additional cost to you. This is a powerful financial lever that could have enormous long-term impact providing healthier school food to more children every day.
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