JFS Perspectives

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

High Holy Day Reflections: Leave a Legacy

Live On and Life & Legacy logosDuring the High Holy Days, many of us reflect on our lives and think about what legacy we are leaving for our families and communities. As you are reflecting on your life and values, we hope you will consider remembering JFS in your will, trust, or retirement plan. It is the most personal of gifts and one that will continue to deliver the values that are important to you long after you’re gone.

Jewish Family Service is participating in a ground-breaking legacy giving program, the Live On | Life & Legacy program—a four-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Rose Community Foundation. 

We know the topic of planned gifts seems confusing and daunting. We asked our planned giving experts, Dawn Richard, JFS director of major and planned gifts, and Bonni Raderman, Boulder JFS development associate, some questions about the program to help you understand what this means for the future of JFS and how you can join the JFS Legacy Society.

Why is the Live On | Life & Legacy program important?

Dawn and Bonni (DB): This program has had such an enormous impact on the future of Jewish communities across the country. By training Jewish organizations to secure legacy gifts—which are gifts left in wills, trusts, retirement plans, and similar instruments—the Live On | Life & Legacy program has already helped participating organizations secure over half a billion dollars for Jewish communities. Participating in this program gives us a chance to offer donors the opportunity to change lives forever, which is incredible. A legacy gift can be one of the most powerful gifts you ever give.

Is it difficult to make a legacy gift?

DB: It doesn’t have to be! It can truly be as simple as revising beneficiary designations in a retirement plan or insurance policy (and you can list JFS with a percentage or dollar amount). You can also make a legacy gift through a will or trust—there are many options to choose from. We advise anyone interested in making a legacy gift to consult with an attorney or financial advisor. These professionals can simplify the process for you, especially if your needs or goals are a little more complex.

How are legacy gifts different from regular donations?

DB: Legacy gifts give you a special chance to reach into the future and shape lives in our community in perpetuity. These gifts are used to build our endowment funds, from which we receive an annual income. Even modest gifts produce a steady flow of income year after year, for as long as they exist. So, by giving a legacy gift, you will make it possible for JFS to continue its programs and serve the community for generations to come. And if you commit to a legacy gift to Jewish Family Service of Colorado or Boulder JFS, you will join our JFS Legacy Society!

If JFS is already in your estate plans, please let us know so we can properly thank and recognize you in the JFS Legacy Society.

Are legacy gifts just for wealthy people?

DB: Anyone can leave a legacy gift. The easiest way is to leave a small percentage as a bequest after everything else has been allocated, even if it is one percent. After all of your loved ones have been taken care of, your legacy gift can help ensure JFS’s future for generations to come.

What should someone who is ready to give a legacy gift do now?

DB: Anyone who intends to name Jewish Family Service of Colorado or Boulder JFS in their will, trust, insurance policy, or retirement plan (or if they already have), can download our Declaration of Commitment form and send the completed form to us by email or postal mail to the address below. If you would like to designate Boulder JFS, please check “Other” and write in “Boulder JFS.”

Dawn Richard, director of major and planned gifts
3201 South Tamarac Drive
Denver, CO 80231

We can’t wait to say thank you and welcome you to the JFS Legacy Society!

 Dawn and Bonni