Planned Giving Seminar Truly Rocked

Last month a group of LightHouse supporters came together to hear a presentation by attorney Susan Dawson from Adler and Colvin entitled “Charitable Giving: Avoid the Chutes and Climb the Ladders”. Susan, in an unusual an highly effective tactic to make the somewhat dry material more engaging, emphasized each topic that she covered by playing an excerpt from a pop song that connected to the subject, adding a bit of beat and getting quite a few laughs. Who knew that that learning about tangible personal property, intangible personal property, substantiation and how appraisals affect tax liability could be so much fun?

Some of Susan’s key points were:

•Highly appreciated assets and assets held long-term (such as publically traded stock held for over one year) are more likely to provide advantageous tax benefits to the donor, often having income tax deductions and capital gains avoidance.

•The law that enables donors age 70 and 1/2 and over to give contributions to their favorite organization (such as LightHouse for the Blind) of up to $100,000 tax free is likely to be brought back by congress in the near future. Contributions of IRA benefits are especially advantageous, as IRAs are a terrible asset to leave to individual heirs as they are doubly taxed, and your heirs will only receive 15 cents on the dollar. The LightHouse is keeping informed on this issue, and will let you know if congress reinstates the authorization of IRA charitable contributions.

Other recommendations Susan made during her enlightening presentation: always be certain to use the correct legal name of an organization, as many charities have similar names (for the record, our correct and legal name is LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.) Better yet, include the organization’s EIN number (like a social security number for non-profits.) Our EIN is 94-1415317.

See the full presentation handout with many more details.

Charitable Giving to the LightHouse enables us to be leaders in the blind community, giving people a chance to learn skills, gain a community of peers and mentors, and live a life well lived. To discuss planned giving options, notify us of your intent or to make a gift, contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or