Planned Giving: 10 Ways to Plant Seeds for the Future

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1. Prepare a will. Only 35% of those who pass away have a valid will. Without a will, you may lose control over your assets and may not be able to specify a guardian for your children.

2. Leave a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the assets in your will to “Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.” Less than 8% of American households have included a bequest to a charity in an estate plan, yet more than 82% make annual charitable gifts.

3. Consider using assets for your charitable gift. These include, but aren’t limited to, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, CDs, and real estate.

4. Name Feeding America West Michigan as a full or partial beneficiary of your pension plan or IRA.

5. Purchase a new life insurance policy naming Feeding America West Michigan as the owner/beneficiary.

6. Name the Food Bank as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy. This idea even extends to employer-provided group term life insurance.

7. Consider your legacy or a legacy for a loved one. What at Feeding America West Michigan makes you especially excited? A planned giving approach may help to support, endow or name that portion of our work for pennies on the dollar.

8. Encourage other donors to leave gifts to Feeding America West Michigan in their wills. Providing testimonials is a great way to encourage new gifts.

9. Consider making a gift to Feeding America West Michigan that will allow you to retain a lifelong source of income. We offer charitable gift annuities through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

10. Ask your financial and legal advisor to include charitable giving as a part of their client counseling. Then call Pattijean McCahill at 616.389.6356 or email her at to include Feeding America West Michigan in your plans.