‘Leave A Legacy’ Drive Ready

    GRAND RAPIDS — Leave a Legacy West Michigan soon will be launching its annual media campaign to raise awareness of the idea of planned charitable giving. The campaign will include a display of billboards throughout West Michigan, as well as radio and TV spots and will run through the end of the month.

    “The purpose of Leave A Legacy is to educate people from all walks of life about the benefits of charitable planned giving and to promote interest in including their favorite charitable nonprofit groups in their will or estate plan,” said Sally VanderPloeg, director of planned and major gifts at Calvin College.

    VanderPloeg noted that the people of West Michigan are extremely supportive of the area’s nonprofit organizations, but many do not consider leaving a lasting gift through their will or estate plan.

    “Many people think that only the very rich can leave financial legacies,” VanderPloeg said. “The truth is that everyone can designate some portion of their estate to benefit a charitable organization that has made a difference in their lives.”

    She added that for many people, leaving a legacy can be as simple as designating a charity to be the beneficiary of an insurance policy that is no longer needed.

    VanderPloeg advises anyone wishing to leave a legacy to first think about a nonprofit group or cause they would most like to help. It could be an organization that has helped the individual or someone they know has benefited from the service of an organization. Another option is to leave a gift in memory of a loved one or for a specific use.

    Secondly, she advises the individual to call the nonprofit group of their choice, to get more information about what it does, what opportunities are available for giving and how the gift will allow it to continue to do good work.

    Finally, VanderPloeg said to contact a professional for help.

    “An adviser can make sure you are getting the maximum tax and legal advantages allowed for your gift.”           

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