Ensuring the Future of Free Speech Through Creative Planned Gifts for the First Amendment Fund at WAMC Northeast Public Radio
For most Americans, The First Amendment expresses several of our country's most essential values and represents an invaluable legacy that has come down to us from the authors of our Constitution. Therefore, when WAMC's Board of Trustees took the essential step in spring 2004 of establishing an endowment for the station, The First Amendment Fund seemed the ideal name for a resource to provide ongoing, long-term support for an organization dedicated to providing vital, timely information that can help listeners participate effectively in a democratic society.
As WAMC's endowment, The First Amendment Fund is being held, maintained, and invested so that from year to year it will yield income toward the annual operating budget. This fund, together with the indispensable and wonderfully generous annual support of our members, will help WAMC to continue its award winning special programs and thorough coverage of regional news, despite whatever vagaries in the economy and in the priorities of funding agencies the future may bring.
A Lasting Legacy for Free Speech through Creative Gift Planning - For many members and friends of WAMC, a planned gift can be an ideal way of providing a lasting legacy for free speech with a contribution to The First Amendment Fund while, at the same time, achieving substantial financial benefits and tax savings for themselves and their families. Several popular ways of giving are outlined below:
Ways of Giving
A Bequest - a gift made under your will - can be an excellent way of providing for WAMC. By including a bequest to the station in a new will, adding a codicil to your existing will, or naming WAMC as a beneficiary of your revocable trust, you can make a meaningful contribution to the station's future. WAMC's legal name and address are included in the sample language for an unrestricted bequest shown below. In case your legal adviser should ask for it, WAMC's federal tax identification number is 22-2400593.
- Unrestricted Bequest: "I give, devise and bequeath (_____ dollars/specific assets/___ percent of the residue of my estate) to WAMC, 318 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, for its general purposes."
Life Income Gifts offer the benefits of an income stream as well as an income tax deduction in the year of the gift and capital gains tax savings when appreciated assets are used to fund the plan:
- A Charitable Gift Annuity provides a fixed, completely predictable annuity for life backed by WAMC. The plan can be funded with cash, publicly traded securities, or a combination of the two. WAMC offers excellent rates based on the annuitants' ages.
- A Charitable Remainder Trust provides an income stream that can be structured and customized to meet the specific needs of donors and their families. The trust can be arranged to yield a fixed, completely predictable annuity, or else a variable income with potential for growth over time. In addition to cash or securities, other special assets, such as real estate or valuable tangibles, can be used to fund the plan.
A Charitable Lead Trust, which works in a manner opposite to a charitable remainder trust, enables a donor to direct income to WAMC for a term of years and then distribute the principal to heirs with substantial gift or estate tax savings. Income producing assets that are also appreciating in value can be especially effective for funding a charitable lead trust, since growth in the value of the assets during the term of the trust escapes the gift or estate taxes completely.
Real Estate - a home, vacation property, condominium, undeveloped land - can be used to provide for WAMC in several creative ways, including plans that offer lifetime benefits for the donors and/or their loved ones. A gift of real estate may also enable you to avoid significant tax liability.
Retirement Plan funds can be used for both lifetime giving to WAMC and to provide future support, with savings on income and/or estate taxes. A creative option for a parent can be to direct in his/her will that remaining retirement plan funds be placed in a charitable remainder trust that will provide an income stream for his/her children and, subsequently, a gift for WAMC.
Life Insurance no longer needed for your family's protection can be used to provide a generous future gift to WAMC by naming the station as future beneficiary. Alternatively, if you transfer ownership of the policy irrevocably to WAMC, you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for the approximate cash surrender value. Subsequently, gifts to WAMC sufficient to cover any premiums that may be due are fully tax deductible.
As with any aspect of financial and estate planning, these gift ideas should be discussed with your own legal and financial advisers. WAMC staff would be pleased to confer with you and your advisers, in confidence and without any obligation, to help determine which plans might be best suited to your circumstances and objectives.
Establishing a Named Endowed Fund within The First Amendment
Through gifts totaling $50,000 or more, members and friends of WAMC can establish an endowed fund within The First Amendment Fund, in their own names or the name of a loved one. Such a named fund can provide continuing support, either unrestricted toward WAMC's general operating budget or for a specified long-term need of the station, such as program development or investigative reporting. A named endowed fund can be created through outright giving, a bequest or other planned gift arrangement, or through a combination of outright and planned gifts. All friends who would like to set up a named endowed fund for a specific purpose should discuss their wishes with WAMC staff, to be certain that the use they have in mind will withstand the test of time in meeting basic needs of the station.
The First Amendment
To thank and recognize the generous friends who make commitments to The First Amendment Fund, WAMC has inaugurated The First Amendment Society. WAMC members and friends can become members of the Society through outright gifts to The First Amendment Fund totaling $5,000 or more, or a special provision in their estate plans, or a combination of outright and planned giving. If you wish, your participation can be kept completely confidential and anonymous.
Please Stay in Touch
At WAMC, we thank you for your interest in helping to ensure the station's future, and we would be pleased to welcome you into our First Amendment Society for all friends who have made special arrangements to provide long-term support.
For further information about The First Amendment Fund and The First Amendment Society, please contact us.
WAMC Northeast Public Radio
318 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
Your inquiry is confidential and implies no obligation.