Heritage Circle

Our Heritage Circle donors are recognized for making a difference in the lives of others by supporting the mission of Community Renewal Society through planned gifts. (listed chronologically)


Victor F. Lawson Rev.
Donald Benedict
Emaroy June Smith
Joan Elbert
John Purdy, Sr.
Rev. Calvin S. Morris, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Phillips
Susan Ende
Martha and Donald Farley
Louise Gunn Smith
Russell Herrick Smith
Dr. Kenneth L. Means
Sr. Helen Allan Archibald


What is a Planned Gift?

A planned gift is an art that combines financial planning, estate planning and tax planning techniques to enable our friends and donors to make gifts of surprising significance, often with dramatic tax and financial rewards.  The need for careful planning becomes clear when people consider the basic questions involved in making an important gift: What should I give; how should I give, when should I give, and are there special purposes my gift should accomplish?

Planning What to Give

There are different tax results from giving different types of property.  For example, if stocks have been owned for more than one year, then donors can deduct not just their original cost but also any “paper prot” present in the gift. Best of all no capital gains taxes are due when you give securities.  Real estate, mutual funds and other types of property offer the same advantages.  At death, it makes sense to leave “tax burdened” assets, such as US savings bonds and death benefits from retirement accounts to charities, thus allowing heirs to avoid income and death taxes.

Planning How to Give

You might want to join many of our friends who have helped through bequests—gifts through their wills or living trusts.  You could also choose to make a gift that reserves lifetime income to you or a family member.  We would benefit in the same manner as if you had made a bequest, but you would be entitled to a charitable deduction and other tax benefits today.  Or you may prefer the simplicity of an immediate gift of cash or property.  By tailoring the form of your gift to t your personal situation, you can gain the maximum tax rewards, maintain financial security and make a truly meaningful contribution.

Planning when to give

Many people plan gifts at year-end to provide important tax deductions.  Or they may and charitable contributions most helpful in the years when they have a large influx of taxable income, from a bonus, sale of a business or successful investment, or inheritance of taxable assets such as savings bonds or IRAs.  Large deductions are available even if you retain lifetime income from your gift.  But the most practical time to make a significant gift may be through your estate plan, by means of a will, living trust or beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy or retirement account.  Such gifts are wholly revocable while you are alive and may save significant taxes for your estate.

Planning the purposes of your gift

Your support should be carefully planned to assure personal satisfaction.  Your gift can be established as a memorial to a loved one or special friend.  You may want to earmark your gift for a particular program or purpose or simply say that your gift may be applied wherever the need is greatest.

We invite you to explore with us the many sides of your own planned giving and the meaning of your personal philanthropy can have for both you and the future of CRS.

Planned Giving

Creative donors have found exciting ways to provide for the future of Community Renewal Society, many of which may not have occurred to you.  This brochure focuses on simple, satisfying ideas for making gifts through your estate plan.

  • Consider a bequest.

    • Gifts through your will can be of a particular item, dollar amount or a percentage of your estate.  They can be contingent (passing to us only if another beneciary dies before you) of in trust, providing income to your spouse or children before passing on the benet.

    • Sample language:

      • “I give Community Renewal Society, Chicago, Illinois 60604, the sum of $_____; or the following described property: _______; or ____ % for the rest, residue and remainder of my estate for its general purposes [or according to a letter of intent previously agreed to by CRS and me].”

  • Give life insurance

    • You can name us as the beneficiary of a policy on your life or contribute to an old policy that you no longer need.  Tax savings are excellent.

    • You can keep lifetime ownership rights in a policy (the right to borrow against a policy or cash it in, for example) but name us as the death beneficiary.  Your estate will be entitled to a charitable deduction for the proceeds passing to us.  If you prefer, you can name us as a contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy.  We would receive the proceeds only if your primary beneficiary died before you.  Or you can make us a co-beneficiary and share the insurance proceeds with another.

  • Leave bank accounts.

    • Ask the account manager how savings or checking accounts, C.D.s or other financial accounts can be payable to us upon your death.

    • Generally, it is possible to pass bank account proceeds to an individual or organization without making or changing a will.  Many states allow a POD (pay on death) accounts that let you name a beneficiary of almost any financial account: savings, checking, CD, building and loan accounts, credit union savings, etc.  You can indicate that your deposit will be “payable on death” to any charitable, educational or religious organization and keep the right to change or revoke the arrangement at any time.

  • Include us as a beneficiary of your revocable living trust.

    • Donors sometimes like to place money with a charitable organization on a revocable basis.  The charity can use the interest the funds produce but the gift becomes permanent only after the donor dies. During life, the donor can always re-claim the funds if the need arises.  As a technical matter, this arrangement amounts to an interest free loan, repayable on demand.  This type of revocable gift eventually provides significant assistance if the lender makes the loan self-canceling at death.  The donor’s estate would be entitled to a charitable deduction for any amount passing to our benefit.

  • Leave tax-burdened property. 

    • Your estate can save both income taxes and estate taxes if you make us the beneficiary of part or all of your IRA or other retirement account.  Family members might keep only 30 cents on the dollar, after taxes, from these assets.  U.S. savings bonds also make tax wise bequests.

    • Naming RS as a death beneficiary may also be good tax planning. Income taxes—and possibly “death taxes”—that may come due at death are wholly avoided. You can name us as a beneficiary of part or all of your account simply by requesting a form from the custodian.

For more information on planned giving email info@communityrenewalsociety.org.