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Planned Giving

Helping Children Flourish

Tony and PhyllisFrom 1979 to 1981, Gretchen Dykstra, who had been trained as a teacher, taught modern American and British literature at a teachers college in central China—one of the first Americans invited to teach in China when the nation reopened after the Cultural Revolution. It was shortly after her return to the U.S. that Gretchen first became involved with Save the Children by sponsoring a little girl in Nepal.

Several years later, Gretchen was planning a trip with a friend to Nepal and arranged through Save the Children to meet her sponsored child. They drove for hours and then walked up and down the endless, verdant foothills of the Himalayas before reaching the compound where the little girl and her family lived. "We spent the night on their stone pallet bed; it was a wonderful visit," Gretchen said. "I walked away impressed with the Save the Children and touched by all that my sponsored child had learned." Gretchen was so impressed, in fact, that she wrote about her trip and her Save the Children sponsorship in an article for the New York Times travel section.

Gretchen continued her support of Save the Children while pursuing a high-profile career in New York City. She was the founding president of the Times Square Business Improvement District throughout the 1990's and then went on to serve as the commissioner of New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs under Mayor Bloomberg. She left that post in April 2005 to become the founding president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation.

Gretchen had become involved in the AIDS crisis early on in New York and served as a Board member at the Gay Men's Health Crisis. It was not surprising then that she became the founder of Save the Children's HIV/AIDS Leadership Council. She lobbied internally for a robust response to the pandemic and is proud today of Save the Children's community-based work on behalf of vulnerable children. Gretchen herself spent a summer as a volunteer at an AIDS orphanage in Uganda where she wrote the business plan and raised the funds for a now-successful restaurant in Masaka that supports the orphanage.

In all, Gretchen has made more than ten trips to visit Save the Children programs, including a trip to war-torn Iraq in 2010. "On every trip I walk away blown away by the field staff and the quality of the work," she states. "I was always touched by the programs, but I am equally impressed by the rigor of measuring outcomes," she said.

Ms. Dykstra served four terms as a Trustee of Save the Children and also served on the Global Education Advisory Committee. She continues to sponsor a child in Nepal.

Gretchen considers planned giving a natural progression in her relationship with Save the Children. She said, "When I began to think about my own will, I asked myself who does good work and who can I trust? I am happy to include Save the Children as a way to express my commitment to children and my confidence in the organization. Without children of my own, putting Save the Children in my will makes perfect sense, too. I want all children to flourish."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Save the Children a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Save the Children, tax ID number 06-0726487, [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Save the Children or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Save the Children as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Save the Children as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Save the Children where you agree to make a gift to Save the Children and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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