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Heartbreaking and Fulfilling


Daisy and Donnette

Donnette Little first became familiar with the Animal Humane Society more than 20 years ago when she and her daughter attended the Walk for Animals with their two dogs. Since then, Donnette's involvement with the Society has grown tremendously, just like the Society itself! For the past 18 years Donnette has donated both time and money to the Animal Humane Society, and more recently she honored the Society by including it as a beneficiary in her estate plan. As you'll see from her story, this was an easy decision for Donnette. She loves animals and believes the Animal Humane Society is making a positive impact on animals and people.

Donnette began volunteering for the Society in the Adoption area, but soon found her true calling in the Adoption Preparation (or Ad Prep) program. The Adoption Preparation program is staffed entirely by volunteers. Its goal is to help animals that seem too nervous or timid when they first arrive at the shelter become more confident and able to be adopted. Through one-on-one sessions with Ad Prep volunteers—sessions filled with love, compassion and patience—many of these animals do find new, loving homes. Sadly, not every story is a success, and according to Donnette, volunteering in Ad Prep is both "heartbreaking and fulfilling." It's that fulfillment that keeps her coming back to volunteer, week after week and year after year— that, and the "privilege of working with such tremendous volunteers and devoted staff."

The Animal Humane Society has benefited greatly from Donnette's support and dedication, and so has someone else! Approximately three years ago Donnette's Doberman pinscher passed away. A few months after that tragic loss, someone brought Daisy, a 3-year-old Doberman, to our shelter and into Donnette's life. Donnette freely admits that she spoils Daisy and people may think that Daisy is one lucky dog. Donnette knows, however, that by bringing Daisy into her home and her life, she's truly the lucky one.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Animal Humane Society a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Animal Humane Society [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose." 

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Society or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Society as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Society as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Society where you agree to make a gift to the Society and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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