What is Planned Giving?

Planned giving is the process of thoughtfully including a charitable gift in your estate plans. It is a method of establishing your legacy of support for the organization you love while providing for your current financial needs. You can help ensure that The American Legion has a lasting impact for the generations that follow by providing for the continuation of our many programs and services that enhance the lives of those we serve.

The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, committed to mentoring youth and operating wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism, good citizenship, leadership, and honor for veterans, members of the Armed Forces and their families.

Philanthropy and individual gifts have been essential in shaping the history of our organization, and these contributions will play an important role in its promising future. Your actions now can have a profound impact in the life of another person. And you can help contribute to that future by including The American Legion in your estate and other financial preparations.

Why is Planned Giving Important?

People of all backgrounds, education and income levels rely on a variety of planned giving methods to provide for their loved ones and support beloved interests, such as The American Legion. Many methods of planned giving ensure that assets otherwise subject to heavy taxation are instead given to dear causes; this means the assets left to loved ones are taxed less. Through planned giving, donors are able to meet their current and future financial needs while providing The American Legion and our nation’s veterans, children and youth with financial support later.

Gifts Through Will or Trust

Gifts Through Will or Trust

How it works: 
1) You include a bequest in your will or revocable trust
2) Upon your death, your will or trust directs a bequest to The American Legion for the purpose(s) you specified

Benefits: 
1) You can change your bequest at any time
2) Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime
3) If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift's full value
4) You can direct your bequest to a particular program or charity
5) You can have the satisfaction of knowing your bequest will ensure The American Legion lives up to the needs of our veterans and military families forever

Gifts Through Life Insurance Policies

Gifts Through Life Insurance Policies

How it works:
1) You assign specific rights in an insurance policy to The American Legion and receive an income tax deduction
2) The American Legion may either surrender the policy for its current cash value or hold it and receive the proceeds upon your death

Benefits:
1) You receive a federal income tax deduction
2) You can contribute a fully paid-up policy OR
3) If premiums remain to be paid, you can receive income tax deductions for contributions to The American Legion to pay these premiums
4) You can name The American Legion as owner or beneficiary of a new policy and make continuous gifts to offset premiums the organization will pay to maintain the policy. There is no charitable deduction for this option
5) You have the satisfaction of knowing your gift will provide critical support to The American Legion in the future

Gifts Through Retirement Plans

Gifts Through Retirement Plans

How it works: 
1) You name The American Legion as the beneficiary for a specific amount or percentage of your retirement plan benefits
2) Upon your death, your plan administrator transfers those designated funds to The American Legion

Benefits:
1) Your funds bequeathed to The American Legion will not be subject to federal income taxes, according to current tax law
2) Please contact a professional tax advisor to check if your funds will have federal estate tax liability 
3) You have the satisfaction of knowing your gift will provide future support to The American Legion

Charitable Programs

Learn about the various charitable programs you can support through the American Legion:

American Legion Charities, Inc. 501(c)(3) 
This is a charitable corporation established by American Legion National Headquarters to receive bequests from individuals, corporations or foundations to fund veterans programs for unrestricted or restricted gifts to assist veterans or their families. Donations may include specific bequests to fund Legion programs such as Boys Nation, Boys State, American Legion Baseball, The American Legion Oratorical Program and others that support children and youth activities or the general charitable programs of The American Legion.
Federal Tax ID No. 90-101797

American Legion Endowment Fund Corporation 501(c)(3)
The Endowment Fund, a separate 501(c)(3) organization, was created for the purpose of providing financial support to the children and youth and veterans rehabilitation programs of The American Legion. Income is restricted to funding programs such as Temporary Financial Assistance, veteran service officer training schools and VA Board of Appeals staff training.
Federal Tax ID No. 35-6039680

American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc.
Created by The American Legion in 1954, as a separate 501(c)(3), the Child Welfare Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of children and youth; to improve the lives of children and youth through funding projects or in other ways, including youth activities and programs sponsored by The American Legion.
Federal Tax ID No. 35-7041737

The American Legion Scholarship Trust
In 1995, the Samsung Corporation established this scholarship trust in gratitude to the veterans of the Korean War. The trust provides college scholarships for youths who have parents who are veterans from any war involving America.
Federal Tax ID No. 35-0144250

The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund
The fund provides scholarship money for children whose parents have died on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, or who have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.
Federal Tax ID No. 42-15553035

Operation Comfort Warriors
This program, which was established in 2007, provides comfort items to those who are wounded, injured or ill in military and federal veterans’ health-care facilities. Funds are used to purchase items not normally provided by the federal government, such as art and sports therapy equipment, recreational opportunities and entertainment for the wounded servicemembers and their families.
Federal Tax ID No. 90-101797

National Emergency Fund
The fund directs immediate cash grants to Legionnaires whose homes were affected from natural disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding. Legion posts are also eligible for emergency assistance.
Federal Tax ID No. 35-6679628

Sample Bequest Language

In the bequest language below, be sure to reference the relevant program and Tax ID for the program you’d like to support.

1) Percentage of Total Estate for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath _____ percent (%) of my total estate to The American Legion, National Headquarters located at 700 N. Pennsylvania St., P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206, to be used to support The American Legion mission.
2) Percentage of Residual for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath _____ percent (%) of the rest and residue of my estate to The American Legion, National Headquarters located at 700 N. Pennsylvania St., P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206, to be used to support The American Legion mission.
3) Specific Amount for Unrestricted Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $______ to The American Legion, National Headquarters located at 700 N. Pennsylvania St. P.O. Box 1055 Indianapolis, IN 46206, to be used to support The American Legion mission.
4) Specific Amount for Specific Purposes: I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $______ to be used for ____________________________ at The American Legion, National Headquarters located at 700 N. Pennsylvania St., P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
5) Contingent Bequest: In the event that my spouse predeceases me, the Trustee shall distribute $_______ to The American Legion, National Headquarters located at 700 N. Pennsylvania St. P.O. Box 1055 Indianapolis, IN 46206, to be used to support The American Legion mission.

Disclaimer

Neither the author, publisher nor organization are legal or tax advice providers. These examples are general and may not apply to all individuals. The purpose of this website and publication is to provide accurate and authoritative information of a general character. Prospective donors should consult their personal tax and financial advisors for specific details about making gifts to The American Legion. State laws govern wills, trusts and charitable gifts made in contractual agreements. Professional advice should be sought when considering these as well as all other gifts.

Contact us

To learn more about your giving options, please contact our planned giving staff at plannedgiving@legion.org or 317.630.1229.