Philanthropy 101

Philanthropy, Estate Plans, and Planned Giving. These concepts hold great meaning for us here at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

  1. Philanthropy: Philanthropy refers to the act of promoting the welfare of others through donations, volunteer efforts, or other charitable actions. It involves using your resources, such as money, time, or expertise, to make a positive impact on society or specific causes. Philanthropy can be carried out by individuals, foundations, corporations, or other organizations.
  2. Estate Plans: Estate planning involves making arrangements for the management and distribution of your assets after your death. It typically includes creating legal documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to ensure that your property, finances, and other possessions are transferred to your intended beneficiaries according to your wishes. Estate planning also allows you to minimize taxes, protect your assets, and provide for your loved ones.
  3. Planned Giving: Planned giving refers to the act of making charitable contributions as part of your overall estate plan. It involves strategically integrating charitable donations into your financial and estate planning to benefit charitable organizations or causes of your choice. Planned giving can offer various benefits, such as tax advantages, potential income during your lifetime, and the ability to leave a lasting legacy.

Planned giving can take different forms, including:

  • Bequests: Designating a specific amount or percentage of your estate to be given to a charity in your will or trust.
  • Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs): Contributing to a fund managed by a charitable organization, where you can recommend how the funds are distributed to other charitable causes over time.

In the past few years, and we anticipate for some time to come, we are witnessing a collective transfer of wealth from our donors, and from folks we haven’t yet met. However, as one of our supportive attorneys recently stated “Wealth is a relative term and is directly related to each individual’s situation. To one person, a sizable gift to a charity is $10,000. To another, it may be a gift of $1,000,000.”

“Charitable giving is not exclusive to wealthy individuals, but more importantly an opportunity for every person, any time, in any place, to do good.”

“Imagine if everyone simply gave 1% of their total estate to charity? It is conceivable that we could fund everything that needed funding after,” states Karlene Grabner, Director of Donor Services. “Our primary responsibility in working with donors is to always honor their wishes and help them achieve their goal of doing good.”

Many of our donors are surprised to learn when you work with our staff in establishing a gift to be received from your estate, there are specific perimeters we adhere to including:

  • We will not share or sell your contact information. With anyone.
  • We will not contact you unless we believe there is relevant information you may need about your charitable plans.
  • We allow for adaptability in your plans with the understanding circumstances may change either for you, or one of the organizations you wish to gift.

In addition, our services include assisting our donors in researching and vetting organizations you may wish to support. Your gifts can go to multiple organizations, in or out of state.

On occasion, we also work with donors in creative ways in which to fund their plans. There are often numerous assets to consider, such as life insurance, precious collections, or real estate, all of which can be woven into an estate plan by a donor in order to reach their charitable goals.

If you are looking to leave a legacy and “do good”, we invite you to contact our office and explore ways we can help you achieve your philanthropic goals.

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