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BEACON Senior News

Empowering the future – planned giving leaves a lasting legacy

Feb 20, 2024 10:35AM ● By Will Sanborn

A time-honored approach to preparing for unexpected expenses has always been “Save a penny for a rainy day.” But what if you took this financial advice a step further? You can devise a plan today for your savings so your favorite causes and charities will benefit from your donations long after you’re gone. 

Planned giving (sometimes called deferred or legacy giving) is a way to ensure that your money keeps working for years to come. Several local charitable foundations specialize in helping you figure out how to make this happen.

Believing the community understands its own greatest needs, Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF) addresses those needs directly with meaningful grants supplied by well-managed charitable funds. Since the very first grant was made more than 90 years ago, PPCF has worked with individuals, corporations and nonprofits, investing more than $125 million into the Pikes Peak Region.

“We want to make philanthropy easy and accessible for generous people,” said Kevin Farley, director of marketing and communications for PPCF. “Our goal is to make it as simple, clear and straightforward as possible to give back to your community.” 


While many people support organizations and causes during their lifetime, planned giving differs somewhat. Here’s how it works:

You determine now how you want your assets to be distributed after your passing by establishing a legal contract.

That contract may cover any number of financial vehicles, such as a charitable trust, a charitable gift annuity, a pooled income fund, endowments, gifts of real estate, personal property, life insurance, an IRA and many other options.

You don’t need to be a financial expert, nor do you need to be exceptionally wealthy, to give in this way.

Age is not a factor. A person can set up a plan at any time. 

A primary goal of planned giving is to ensure that more of your assets go to causes you care about, rather than being paid in taxes to the government.

The term “planned giving” was coined by philanthropy expert Robert F. Sharpe, Sr., in 1969. It simply describes charitable giving that is determined now and occurs at some later time, most often after one’s death.

One of the earliest known examples of planned giving was the Pomona Plan at Pomona College in California in 1942. They offered an arrangement where a donor would receive regular income from an annuity through their lifetime, with the remaining balance given to the college upon the donor’s passing. 

That helped set in motion the development of many similar giving plans. Today, there’s almost no limit to the arrangements you can make for your assets to be used after your death.

The emphasis in planned giving is on “planned.” Some studies indicate that as many as 50 percent of Americans die without a will in place. That generally leaves the government in charge of distributing their assets, and who wants that? PPCF helps clients define how, when, and where their remaining assets will be used.


One of the many local organizations and charities PPCF is involved with is the Empty Stocking Fund. The foundation collaborates with clients and other foundations to support this fund, which assists around 20 local health and human services organizations that aid Springs residents in crisis. 

Other area organizations benefited include the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, the Catamount CenterYoung LifeUCCS and Pikes Peak United Way. In its last fiscal year, PPCF distributed almost $8 million in grants to organizations in El Paso and Teller Counties.      

There’s no shortage of local organizations to consider and choose from. There are 1,500 to 1,800 nonprofits in the Pikes Peak Region, which is a higher number per capita than anywhere else in the country. 

While PPCF focuses on working with local charities, planned giving donors may choose to cast a wider net with their gifts.    

The National Christian Foundation (NCF) is another local organization involved in planned giving. Laurie Bossert, vice president of the foundation’s Rocky Mountains Office in Colorado Springs, says their mission is to mobilize resources by inspiring biblical generosity.

“Everyone can do it,” she encouraged. “Charitable giving is just a reflection of your values.” 

Bossert suggests that a donor-advised fund is an excellent starting point. 

“It helps you determine what kind of legacy you will leave,” she said. 

The top charities that NCF is involved with are churches and church-related organizations, both in the U.S. and abroad. They focus on poverty, translating the Bible into sign language, providing orphan care worldwide and tackling homelessness and human trafficking. 

While NCF is experienced with establishing planned giving accounts with deferred payouts, it’s certainly not the sole option for philanthropy.

Both NCF and PPCF can assist you in finding giving avenues that begin now during your lifetime and extend beyond your passing. 

“Donate now so you may experience the joy of giving during your lifetime,” Bossert urged.   

Farley and Bossert emphasize the importance of considering tax laws and implications when establishing a planned giving account. They strongly recommend consulting with a tax attorney or advisor, as neither NCF nor PPCF offer tax advice. Senior Tax Advisory Group provides such services and can be contacted at 719-596-4844 or through As with any financial arrangement, there are some administrative and custodial costs involved in working with foundations such as these.  

Do you want to get started?

Getting started with philanthropy can be incredibly rewarding. There’s no need to get lost in complex and challenging details of funds, taxes and plans. Just as a travel agency helps you plan a trip, these foundations will direct you on your journey of giving—now and in the years to come.

Pikes Peak Community Foundation

Kevin Farley  |  719-389-1251 |

The National Christian Foundation 

Laurie Bossert  |  720-414-5204 |

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