It’s no secret that the ARL depends upon your generosity and compassionate support. There are many different ways that you can support our mission and ensure that we can continue to provide the highest quality of service for both animals and people in our community for generations to come. We welcome you to join a group of supporters who have made a financial commitment to provide a voice for animals now and in the future. There are almost as many variations on ways to make a donation as there are needs to be met. We created this booklet to help you find the option that makes sense for you and allows you to fulfill your philanthropic goals. If you need help along the way, please contact us.
“The best use of life is to invest it in something which will outlast life.” –William James
Ways to Give
- Gifts you make today The Animal Rescue League has goals and projects that need your support today. Choose from a variety of giving options and needs that best compliment your interests and our needs.
- Gifts that pay you income Benefit from your contribution today knowing that you will ensure the sustainability of the ARL in the future.
- Gifts that make an impact after your lifetime Some gifts cannot be given right away or cannot be appreciated until later. Including the ARL in your estate plan benefits you, your estate and all of the animals we’ll be able to save in the future
Memorial and Honorary Gifts – If you have a family member or friend whose life has been touched by the ARL or an animal, we hope you’ll consider making a gift to us in honor of that person. An outright gift can help fund our immediate needs or an upcoming project. The financial benefits include an income tax deduction and possible elimination of capital gains tax.
Beneficiary Board – Give the gift with a lasting impression. The ARL allows donors to donate for the naming rights on various rooms and buildings on the shelter’s grounds. Donors can choose from individual dog kennels to specific rooms and buildings.
Charitable Lead Trusts – Donors concerned about estate taxes passed through their children to their grandchildren can establish a Charitable Lead Trust from a portion of their estates. Incomes from these trusts go to donor’s named funds for a set number of years. Estate taxes are reduced and properties are not taxed to donor’s children. When grandchildren reach maturity, the trust terminates and the assets go to them. Charities benefit during those years and grandchildren receive more than they would otherwise.
Donor Advised Funds – Through a written agreement with a charity, a donor creates a specially named fund to which contributions are made. A donor advised fund is a separately identified fund or account that is maintained and operated by a section 501(c)(3) organization. Since the donor makes contributions directly to the charitable organization maintaining the fund, they are treated as charitable contributions to a public charity rather than gifts to a private foundation. Once the donor makes the contribution, the organization has legal control over it; however, the donor, or the donor’s representative, retains advisory privileges with respect to offering recommendations concerning the distribution of funds and the investment of assets in the account.
Gifts of stock and appreciated assets – The gift of an asset – often common stock or mutual fund shares – is a valuable way to make a contribution to the ARL and receive tax benefits based on the value of the asset(s). Appreciated assets have a higher market value than their basis or tax purpose value (in most cases, their cost). If sold by an individual at a higher price than their basis, such assets would potentially generate a taxable capital gain (either long-term or short-term depending on the holding period).
If you transfer the appreciated assets to ARL, you can receive a charitable tax deduction based on the current market value of the gift and avoid tax on any capital gains. ARL can then sell the asset for the full market value and, as a nonprofit, does not have to pay any capital gains.
While appreciated assets often involve gifts of stock, other marketable assets – such as land, antiques, and homes – can be utilized as potential gifts with the possibility of valuable tax benefits. However, these other assets are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Charitable Remainder Trusts– A charitable remainder trust is a trust that provides for a specified distribution, at least annually, to one or more beneficiaries, at least one of which is not a charity. Anyone who wishes to create a charitable remainder trust must choose between the annuity trust and unitrust formats. The principle difference between the two is the way in which income distributions are determined.
Annuity By placing assets in Annuity Trusts, donors and their spouses may establish charitable funds while providing assured lifetime incomes, with tax deductions up to six years. The annuity amount may be stated as a fixed percentage of the initial net fair market value, or as a fixed sum. The annuity percentage or amount that is fixed cannot be changed regardless of fluctuations in portfolio value. For this reason, additional contributions to annuity trust are prohibited. Estate taxes are reduced and the charity benefits from the remainder, which later become a permanent named fund.
Unitrust This is similar to an Annuity, but allows for annual valuation of the trust to act as an inflationary hedge. Income is determined at a fixed percentage (which is not less than 5 percent) of the net fair market value of its assets, valued annually, and annual income distributions will increase or decrease relative to the fair market value of the trust. Unlike the charitable remainder annuity trust, additional contributions to unitrusts are permitted.
Gifts to Posterity…Outside a Will – You don’t necessarily have to make or change a will to benefit the ARL at death. Virtually any financial arrangement that allows you to designate a death beneficiary can be adapted as a wonderful “bequest” to benefit future generations. For example:
- Life Insurance: You can name ARL the beneficiary of your life insurance, or a co-beneficiary or a contingent beneficiary. It may be a better idea to transfer actual ownership of the policy to ARL or buy a new policy for our benefit. Such a gift would entitle you to an income tax deduction and future premium payments would be tax deductible.
- Financial Accounts: Most financial accounts can be made payable on death to a friend, relative or charitable organization such as the ARL.
- Retirement Savings: IRAs, pensions, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings arrangements provide for death beneficiaries, which can include charitable organizations (a spouse’s consent will be necessary if the account owner is married). This type of gift can save both “death taxes” and income taxes that would have been paid by the person who received the death benefits.
- Savings Bonds: U.S. savings bonds are a splendid selection for a charitable gift by will through a bequest, but they cannot be left through a beneficiary designation. Such a bequest saves income taxes as well as federal estate taxes.
- Revocable Living Trusts: All the gifts by will we have suggested can also be accomplished by friends who have revocable living trusts. Simply name ARL as one of the beneficiaries of your trust.
We have received many bequests,gifts by will, from thoughtful people who considered it only fitting to provide us with something from their estates. For some, their bequests were simply a continuation of the support they had provided all their lives. For others, it was a statement of their values that they wished to pass on to the next generation. For these gifts we are profoundly grateful. And it is satisfying to point out that in a well-planned will, the cost of a bequest to our future can be surprisingly modest.
Your bequest can be of a stated dollar amount or a specific property. Some of our benefactors prefer to bequeath a certain percentage of their assets or of the “residue” (the amount that remains after paying all inheritances, debts and costs). There are special arrangements by which your bequest can provide financial benefits to your family and later be used to benefit our youth.
If You Already Have a Will Great! We hope you keep it up to date. When the time comes to make a change, a simple codicil (amendment) is often all that is needed. If you are considering a codicil, or a whole new will, please consider a bequest to serve our youth.
Sample Language for Charitable Bequests
- Specific Bequest I hereby give and bequeath to ARL the sum of $________ [or specific property]* to be used for its general purposes.
- Percentage Bequest I give and bequeath to ARL, ______% of my net distributable estate to be used for its general purposes.
- Residuary Bequest I give and bequeath to ARL the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be used for its general purposes.
- Contingent Bequest In the event that any of the above named beneficiaries shall not survive me, or shall die during the administration of my estate, within ninety (90) days from the date of my death, or as a result of a common disaster, then I give and bequeath that beneficiary’s share of my estate to ARL, to be used for its general purposes.
- Note: To maximize tax savings, consider a “bequest” by beneficiary arrangement of savings bonds, individual retirement accounts or other tax-deferred retirement funds that produce “Income in Respect of a Decedent.” These assets can be fully income taxable if left to heirs, and are excellent assets to consider for charitable bequests.