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SENIOR SCENE: Support your favorite charities: ‘After You’ve Gone’

OPINION by Joyce Whitfield, HS Area Community Foundation | March 26, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Joyce Whitfield - Submitted photo

As Ella Fitzgerald sang, "After You've Gone" there are sometimes regrets. We all know in so many of life's circumstances, nothing is totally complete until the paperwork is done. And many times, necessary paperwork doesn't get completed prior to a loved one's death. This causes havoc for the family not knowing your specific wishes for distribution of your assets "after you've gone." We have been so blessed with numerous individuals who had the forethought to write their will mentioning that a deferred endowment fund has been established with the Arkansas Community Foundation to be funded upon their death. Specific nonprofits can be designated for annual gifts, usually with a percentage of the fund's earnings, or an amount.

Such was the case with Daniel and Sonora Johnson Endowment Fund, created over 28 years ago, that made allowances for annual distributions to three local charities in September of every year who work with children and youths. Charities benefiting this year are the Hot Springs YMCA, Ouachita Children's Center and Cutwell4Kids. Provisions in the fund agreement allowed for substitutions should their specified charities become nonexistent.

Another such fund is the Gordon and Wilma Smith Family Endowment, created over 21 years ago. The Smiths, with no children, wished to designate four charities to benefit from their lasting gifts. Those include Teen Challenge, Glenhaven Youth Ranch (recently merged with Deliver Hope), Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. These are only two examples of gifts left for eternity to the donor's favorite causes with a deferred endowment fund mentioned in their will.

By setting up deferred funds such as these, the donor becomes a member of our Diamond Society. The diamond is a stone that is of value, permanency and strength. Persons who plan for charitable gifting exhibit those same valuable qualities that permanently strengthen the causes they hold dear.

It's a very simple process and no fees are involved to complete the paperwork. We like to go ahead and create a "shell" document for deferred gifts so that we can steward the donors and understand their charitable intent. We completely honor a donor's request for anonymity, should that be their desire. Donors may also name a "field of interest" for their gifts, rather than naming specific charities and name an adviser or allow the community foundation to make the annual grant decisions based on the greatest need at the time.

If you have an interest in knowing more about supporting your favorite charities "after you've gone" please feel free to contact us at 501-372-1007, or email [email protected].

Print Headline: SENIOR SCENE: Support your favorite charities: ‘After You’ve Gone’


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