Purposeful Planned Giving

Building Stronger Schools and Communities

Planned giving is an important characteristic of a strong rural school foundation or local community foundation. The cultivation of planned gifts should be at the forefront of rural community dialogue and an explicit long-range goal of school and community leadership. Thoughtful planned giving has the potential to bolster local education efforts and promote overall community sustainability.

In the coming decades it is estimated that trillions of dollars will transfer from one American generation to another. Even in the poorest rural regions, land and other assets will be passed on, often going to heirs who no longer live in their hometown. Planned giving combats this form of “capital flight” by keeping much-needed resources in rural places and small towns.


  1. Include planned giving in strategic planning and goal setting.
  2. Identify professionals in the community or region to assist you with the effort. Don’t be shy; this is what attorneys, CPA’s, and financial planners do for a living.
  3. Educate foundation board members and the community at-large through events and promotional pieces.
  4. Foundation board members MUST publicly commit to making personal planned gifts—small or large. This simply has to happen to ensure a successful effort.
  5. Keep planned giving at the forefront of rural school foundation or community foundation conversations and publicity.
  6. Celebrate new planned giving commitments and estate gifts; create a “Legacy Society.”


  1. Include the rural school or rural school foundation in your will.
  2. Designate a real asset (boat, auto, savings/checking account, etc.) through a POD (payment on death) or TOD (transfer on death).
  3. Name the school, school foundation, or community foundation as a life insurance beneficiary or transfer ownership of an existing policy.
  4. Name one of the above as a beneficiary on an IRA.
  5. Gift real estate outright upon death.
  6. Receive lifetime income through a charitable gift annuity while gifting to your local entity.
  7. Work with a professional to create a formal trust of which there are numerous varieties.

If you would like to learn more contact your professional advisor or local school or community foundation. You may also request planned giving information at info@ruralschoolscollaborative.org .