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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Planned Giving

Planned Giving

Join the Cather Legacy Society with a Planned Gift:

A comprehensive estate plan takes into account the people, places, and causes you care about. 

Joining the Cather Legacy Society is an excellent way for you to leave a legacy and help further our mission. A planned gift to the Willa Cather Foundation can provide you or your estate with significant tax benefits—all while making certain that our programs and services will benefit generations to come. Your personal legacy will inspire others and provide financial security to enable us to engage in long-range planning.

Your planned gift will benefit visitors from around the globe, and help in our pursuit to popularize Cather and her work around the world. 

There are a variety of ways you can fulfill your philanthropic desires including a bequest, or a beneficiary designation for a trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy. No matter how you choose to give, our staff can help guide you through the process as you fulfill your philanthropic needs.

To learn more about planned giving, download our brochure. With questions, please contact your financial advisors or Ashley Olson, Executive Director at 402-746-2653 or

Bequest: Give a portion of your assets to the Foundation through your Will.

Why a Bequest? This simple method of remembering the Willa Cather Foundation assures that some portion of your estate passes to the WCF after your death. Including the WCF in your Will may help your heirs avoid certain estate taxes. You can change your mind about your bequest at any time before your death. Your attorney can help you, and if you already have a Will, you can add a codicil at very little cost.

To leave the Foundation a percentage of your estate in your Will:
"I give (insert percentage of residual estate) to the Willa Cather Foundation, a Nebraska 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, 413 North Webster Street, Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970, to provide funding for (program area to benefit; endowment; OR the programs in current need as determined by the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation.")

To leave the Foundation a specific amount of money:
"I give (insert sum) to the Willa Cather Foundation, a Nebraska 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, 413 North Webster Street, Red Cloud, Nebraska, 68970 to provide funding for (program area to benefit; endowment; OR the programs in current need as determined by the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation.")

Charitable IRA Rollover

What is an IRA charitable rollover?

The law uses the term “qualified charitable distribution” to describe an IRA charitable rollover. A qualified charitable distribution is money that individuals who are 70½ or older may direct from their traditional IRA to eligible charitable organizations. The provision has a cap of $100,000 for charitable distributions from individual IRAs each year. Individuals may exclude the amount distributed directly to an eligible charity from their gross income.

Is a donor limited to one IRA charitable distribution per year, or can a donor request multiple transfers?

Donors aged 70 ½ or older are limited to a maximum of $100,000 in any one year as an IRA charitable distribution, however there is no requirement that the entire amount be made in one transfer or that the entire amount go to a single qualified charitable organization. Donors can request multiple direct transfers from their IRA to qualified charities in a year, but only $100,000 will be excluded from income as an IRA qualified charitable distribution.

Under what circumstances will this special treatment of an IRA charitable rollover most likely benefit donors?

Generally, this new provision benefits donors who itemize deductions and whose charitable contributions are reduced by the percentage of income limitation. Traditionally, when individuals receive a distribution from their IRA and make a corresponding charitable contribution, they must count the distribution as income and then receive a charitable deduction for any amounts they transferred to charity. For higher income taxpayers, the charitable contribution deduction they receive may not totally offset the taxes they must pay for receiving the distribution from their IRA. In such cases, donors would potentially benefit more by using the charitable rollover provision when making a charitable donation.

Other donors who may benefit: individuals who do not usually itemize their deductions and individuals in states where the operation of state income tax law would offer greater benefits as a result of a charitable rollover. Donors will need to work with their professional advisers to determine the effect of these rules on their specific tax situation. This provision will also likely benefit donors whose charitable contributions are reduced by the itemized deduction reduction.

How do individuals make a qualified charitable distribution?

Individuals must instruct their IRA trustee to make the contribution directly to a chartiable organization. Distributions may be directed to:

The Willa Cather Foundation
413 N. Webster St.
Red Cloud, NE 68970

Beneficiary of Retirement Plan or Life Insurance Policy
Retirement Plan: Name the WCF as a beneficiary on a retirement plan.

Why retirement plans? Retirement plans can be heavily taxed (unless left to a spouse), and naming the WCF as a charitable beneficiary could reduce taxes. You can change your mind about beneficiaries at any time.

Insurance Policy: Make the WCF a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Why life insurance policies? You may have paid-up policies you no longer need, or you may want to set up a new policy with charitable intent. By giving either fully paid or partially paid insurance policies to the WCF, you can receive the deductions immediately or over the length of time you pay for the policy. Name the WCF as both the beneficiary and policy owner, and do this through your local agent.

Charitable Trusts

Charitable Remainder Trust: Set up a trust and receive annual income, plus a tax deduction and gift to the WCF.

Why a charitable Remainder trust? You receive annual income and could avoid capital gains and/or estate tax. Please see your financial manager for more information.

Charitable Lead Trust: Set up a trust where annual income comes to the WCF until your death, when the trust transfers back to the family.

Why a charitable lead trust? You may not need income yourself at this time, but you would like your assets to remain within your family. Income generated from the trust comes to the WCF, but at your death, the trust is dissolved and transfers to your family. You do not pay estate tax on the appreciation of the trust, and you receive tax benefits.

Additional Options

Other vehicles in which to make a charitable donation include gifts of closely held stock, securities or commodities. Farmers and ranchers can save significant taxes by contributing commodities such as corn or cattle to the WCF instead of making a cash contribution after selling the commodity. A producer should consult with his or her tax advisor to determine whether a contribution of commodities is appropriate to their tax situation.

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