Planning for Big Impact

Planning for Big Impact

Stretching one’s generosity is part of what makes planned giving so rewarding. Because a planned gift does not reduce a donor’s assets during their lifetime, the donor may be able to make a more significant impact than they first thought possible. Some donors also find planned gifts are the perfect way to establish a named endowment, perhaps in honor of a family member or friend. Such gifts recognize the donor’s commitment to extending the mission and future of Sidwell Friends in perpetuity.

“I view outright annual giving as an effort by the Sidwell Friends community to bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of a Sidwell education,” says Steve Bralove 60 P89, P92, GP23, GP26, GP29. “But a deferred or planned gift allows me to make a longer-term commitment to the School without having to fund the gift immediately. An unexpected benefit for me has been the opportunity to discuss philanthropy with my children. All of us are Sidwell Friends graduates and care deeply about the School. Our discussion around deferred giving provided an opportunity to share views and philosophy about giving. This resulted in a commitment to Sidwell both as individuals, and as a family.”  

All of us are Sidwell graduates and care deeply about the School. Our discussion around deferred giving provided an opportunity to share views and philosophy about giving. This resulted in a commitment to Sidwell both as individuals, and as a family.”Terry Eakin 62, P95, P97, P99, P04 sees planned giving as “a way to help Sidwell Friends build its endowment, which is critical to ensuring the long run viability of the School for future generations. For me a planned gift is my last chance to remember and thank Sidwell Friends for all the lifetime benefits that my family and I received from the School.”

For donors and their causes, planned gifts can be a win-win. As Helen Austern Colson ’53, P’82, P’84, P’87 says, “Through planned giving, donors make educated decisions about tax planning and their own long-term financial plans—both for their own benefit and for future generations in their families.”

While planned giving takes the long view, it’s never too early to establish a planned gift. Donors of all ages have a variety of planned giving options available to meet their goals and needs, from bequests, charitable trusts, and gift annuities to retirement plan assets, life insurance policies, and donor advised funds. In fact, the high number of Millennials now creating wills and estate plans has created a surge in planned giving conversations. 

Tara Arras, the assistant head of school for advancement, notes that with interest rates on the rise,  it’s a particularly good time for a donor to establish a charitable gift annuity. “The new rates became effective July 1, 2022," she says. "Donors 55 years of age or older who take advantage of this giving vehicle to benefit Sidwell Friends are guaranteed a fixed income stream for themselves and/or a loved one for life and could benefit from potential tax savings, including a charitable income tax deduction. Not only does this benefit the donor but it leaves a lasting impact on Sidwell Friends. It truly is the gift that gives back.” All donors are encouraged to consult their financial advisor or attorney when considering a planned gift.
But because outright gifts are also essential to Sidwell Friends’s ongoing success, many donors maximize their philanthropic impact by pairing current cash gifts with planned giving. Helen Colson 53, P82, P84, P87  says she is sometimes asked why she makes Sidwell Friends her top philanthropic priority when there are so many people in need of basic necessities like food and medical care in the United States and around the world. “My answer is that Sidwell Friends, with its special brand of high-quality and value-centered education, is preparing the young people who will focus on food and medical shortages on a national or global scale when they are adults. Through them I can have a much bigger impact.”

“Giving of all kinds is important,” says Mara Bralove 89, who is Steve’s daughter. But, she adds, “planned giving is particularly special because it means donors are truly thinking well beyond themselves and into the future—benefitting people whom they may not even know. Creating these gifts now shows unwavering faith in Sidwell Friends and a belief that the School should continue to educate many generations to come.”

Donors who make planned gifts become part of the Thomas and Frances Sidwell Society, which recognizes those who follow in the tradition of Thomas Sidwell, who survived Frances and wanted his estate to help further the School he founded. 


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