When families have dependable, decent, affordable housing, they build a legacy of stability and prosperity now and for generations to come. Through Planned Giving, our Habitat community is able to tie their own legacy to the legacies built by these families – and make an impact that is felt now and causes a ripple effect felt far into the future.


Planned Giving is a plan for charitable giving that fits into a donor’s overall financial and estate planning so that a donor can support Habitat with intention during and after their lifetime.

Petersons"Planned Giving is really a life-changing act of love,” says Habitat supporter Ken. “It changes not only you but your entire family, by creating a legacy." Ken and his wife, Jennifer, designated a gift for Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley in their living trust. The legacy of their generosity is one felt in his family and far beyond, offering other families the chance at strong legacies of their own.

You don’t have to feel “ready” to make a planned gift in order to get started. First, explore your options. Planned Giving can look different for different people – varying by age, income, and assets. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated! Lisa, our Planned Giving Officer, has five suggested ways that you can join the growing group of Habitat supporters who have decided to make a legacy gift:

1. Stocks, Bonds, or Appreciated Real Estate

You can make an impact now by making a gift of assets such as stocks and bonds or appreciated real estate. By donating such assets, you’ll receive an income tax deduction based on the gift’s value, possibly avoid heavy capital gains taxes, and see your gift directly in action through work like Esperanza Place, the future home of 42 families in Walnut Creek.

2. Bequests

A bequest is one of the simplest ways to give, and one of the most rewarding. Leaving a donation as part of your will or trust can lessen the burden of taxes on your family, offer you estate tax savings, and, most importantly, leave a legacy of opportunity and empowerment for other families. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying your gift. Click here to read Habitat’s options for bequest language.

TIP: Before altering or creating your will, reach out to your loved ones to share your intentions for leaving your legacy. Looping loved ones in and creating a discussion about the division of your estate can clarify your intentions, specify the parameters of your gift (cash, estates, equity, or other property), and prepare your family for the future.

3. Gifts That Provide Income, such as a Charitable Gift Annuity

A gift annuity is a unique way to give not only to an organization but also to yourself and your loved ones. When you transfer assets to a charitable gift annuity, you give a gift to Habitat while receiving tax-favored income for life. By giving through a charitable gift annuity, you or a beneficiary receive attractive payout rates, and you can see your legacy at work in our communities through Habitat.

4. Retirement Plans

If you are 70 ½ years or older, there are tax advantages to making a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA. At 72 years old, this contribution can also fulfill your required minimum distribution from your IRA while making a tax-deductible charitable gift.

Anyone can also designate a certain amount from potentially unused retirement assets – such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension, or other tax-deferred plans – to be donated to a nonprofit of their choice. As your unused IRA assets will not be taxed upon your passing, you can be assured that Habitat will benefit from the full value of your gift, while your estate will benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction.

5. Life Insurance Designations

Adding a nonprofit such as Habitat as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy is another simple way to create a profound impact. By working with your life insurance provider, you can request a Beneficiary Designation Form and include an organization as part of your policy. This allows you to fund a legacy gift while providing you a charitable gift receipt for tax purposes.

Do one of these ways to give to charity through Planned Giving inspire you?

The next step is to connect with our Planned Giving Officer to curate a plan. However your plan looks, the plan is the key. Planned Giving ensures your charitable legacy complements your estate plans and support for your family while creating maximum impact in the community.

Finally, discuss your plans with loved ones and financial professionals. It is important your family feels included and aware of your giving plans. Be sure to consult your team of professionals for guidance – estate planning attorneys, accountants, and financial and tax advisors who can walk you through the process and keep you well-informed, depending on the plan you devise.

Your legacy can start today by contacting Lisa, Development and Planned Giving Officer, at LAmor@HabitatEBSV.org. Lisa is here to talk through the many options you can consider based on your goals and estate plans, and share how your generosity is put to work supporting Habitat’s commitment to a more equitable community where everyone has a decent place to live.


About the Author

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley

As an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We create opportunities for families to transform their lives, gaining the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future. Working together as a community, we build homes with affordable mortgages, repair and renovate existing homes, counsel first-time homebuyers, and revitalize neighborhoods in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, please call 866.450.4432.


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