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Legacy Planning

Women Philanthropists...Today's Change Makers

The participation by women in a broad array of philanthropic causes is not new. What has changed, however, is the manner in which they are participating. In addition to providing time and talent to charitable organizations and causes, women are now donating money at such unprecedented levels that they have created a new paradigm in philanthropy known as "community capital." In context, the phrase refers to effecting broad community change through the availability of the philanthropic support of women.

Formally engaging women in philanthropy began through the formation of networks originating in earnest during the 1990s in California. During this time, both non-profit and for-profit organizations began specific programs and initiatives geared to involve women in philanthropic giving. Activity sprang from volunteerism and mushroomed to encourage small donors in numbers sufficient to make a significant difference in the contribution levels of women.

The outcome of these early efforts has yielded very substantial gifts in recent years to all types of organizations and causes on a national scale. An impressive listing of various philanthropic gifts made by women is maintained by the University of Michigan and can be found on its Web site at

The women philanthropists listed come from all backgrounds and professions. Among those listed are nurses Mary Ann Boyd and Mary Briggs. In 2001, Boyd, a former nurse at the Baptist Health Medical Center, in Little Rock, AR, left a $3 million bequest to the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute Foundation for unrestricted use. In 1999, Mary Briggs, a retired nurse, from Winston Salem, NC, donated property from her estate valued at $2,000,000 to the Davidson County Community College for nursing scholarships. Briggs had attended the college and wanted to "give back" by making it easier financially for those nurses coming behind her. As more women work outside the home and as the corresponding societal norms have changed, women tend to have less time to devote to volunteer activities but more in the way of financial resources.

In their 2001 book titled, Reinventing Fundraising: Realizing the Potential of Women's Philanthropy, Sondra Shar and Martha Taylor created a template called the Six Cs - Create, Change, Connect, Collaborate, Commit, Celebrate to describe the engagement of women in philanthropy. [See below.]

As has long been the custom among women, they are continuing to create change and doing so on a national scale. Current changes afoot are being fueled by their financial capacity to make a difference that pushes the boundaries philanthropy, such that a paradigm shift in charitable giving is now attributed to women - whose numbers are, once again, "too big to ignore."

Create - that creating new solutions to old problems, creating new organizations and programs, especially those that focus on women and girls is of high interest to women philanthropists

Change - that promoting change through the use of their financial resources is a message that resonates among women

Connect - that connecting with others with similar interests, convening groups, if you will, of those whose purposes stimulate discussion regarding philanthropic giving is valued by women

Collaborate - that collaborating with groups and organizations seeking funding is the preferred manner developing the charitable interest of women

Commit - that committing to specific philanthropic goals and following the progress, results, and use of their philanthropic dollars is important in the charitable giving of women

Celebrate - that celebrating the results of their philanthropy is a key ingredient that keeps giving fun for women

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the ONS Foundation 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

The specific bequest language for the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation is: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give devise and bequeath to the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation [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 the ONS Foundation 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 the ONS Foundation 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 the ONS Foundation 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 the ONS Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the ONS Foundation 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.

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