Gift Planning

Most people want to feel they can make a difference. Gift planning provides opportunities for individuals to make a difference into the future to benefit Howard Center. Many options are available that can meet the goals of the donor, whether it is for income during their lifetime or for estate or income tax savings. You do not need to have a large estate in order to make a planned or legacy gift. As an example, a planned gift of $2,500 can endow the equivalent of an annual gift of $100 in perpetuity. There are many options to consider.


A bequest to Howard Center in your will is the easiest and most common method of making a planned gift and as a charitable bequest, it is deductible when calculating any estate taxes. There is no limit on the amount of a charitable deduction. The following language could be used in making such an unrestricted bequest: “I hereby give and bequeath the sum of ________ dollars (or ______ percent of the residuary portion of my estate) to Howard Center, Inc., Burlington, VT, for its general charitable use and purposes (or for its endowment).”

IRA’s and Retirement Plans

If you name Howard Center as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or IRA, you avoid income tax when Howard Center receives its share of your plan.

Life Insurance

You can contribute a policy which you no longer need or make Howard Center a designated beneficiary for all or a portion of the proceeds, resulting in either an immediate income tax deduction or a reduction of your estate for purposes of estate taxes.

Charitable Gift Annuity

In exchange for a gift of money or securities, Howard Center will pay you and/or a loved one a fixed amount annually for the rest of your life. A portion of this income is not taxed, and you also receive a charitable deduction for part of your gift as calculated with IRS tables.

Charitable Lead Trusts

You may support Howard Center for a term of years or for the life of an individual by creating a charitable lead trust. Income will be paid to your fund at Howard Center each year during the term of the trust. When the trust terminates, the assets in the trust revert to you or to individuals you wish to benefit.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

You may use an irrevocable trust to provide yourself and/or a loved one with a fixed annual income or an income which varies with the value of the trust. Part of your gift qualifies for an income tax deduction, as calculated with IRS tables. At the death of the last income beneficiary, the corpus of the trust is distributed to your fund at Howard Center.

Real Estate with Retained Life Estate

A residence or other real property may be given as an outright gift, or you may prefer to give your residence, farm, or vacation home and retain the right to occupy it for life. You get a charitable deduction in the year you arrange your gift. Please consult Howard Center’s Gift Acceptance Policy if you are considering a real estate donation.

Special acknowledgment goes to The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) and Leave A Legacy NH/VT for these definitions of a number of the most popular options individuals and couples are including in their estate plans. Howard Center has a partnership agreement with VCF for charitable gift annuities and other life income gifts. This partnership gives us the opportunity to offer our supporters a vehicle through which they can receive income throughout their lives and benefit from tax savings.

Howard Legacy Society

If you wish to make a planned gift, consider letting the Development staff at Howard Center know of your intentions. While not required, there are several benefits to you in having this conversation. First, you can be assured that your philanthropy will have the effect you want. Second, knowing your plans allows Howard Center to keep you abreast of current programs during your lifetime. And third, Howard Center will be able to acknowledge your generosity by including you as a member of the Howard Legacy Society, named in honor of the agency’s founder, Louisa May Howard, who began the Ladies Aid Society in Burlington in 1873.

For more information on gift planning, please contact Mike Glod, Senior Development and Communications Director, by e-mail at or by calling 802.488.6905.