Planned Giving

Rural school communities must take advantage of America's transfer of wealth.


Planned giving is a key 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 (see, for example, the Missouri or Illinois Transfer of Wealth studies). More than $15.4 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) are estimated to transfer by 2030 out of our rural communities across the country. 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 .

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Stoking the Fires of Knowledge

In the fall of 1945, weeks after V-J Day ended World War II for the United States, Jennie Barritt took a job teaching school in a tiny, one-room schoolhouse in the Cedar County hamlet of Wright, just down the road from her childhood home in El Dorado Springs, Missouri. She taught students of all ages that winter and in the winters to come, occasionally taking a break from the “three Rs” to stoke the fireplace that kept the room and students warm.

Over the next decade, Barritt earned her degree in Springfield and taught in five different rural schoolhouses, all in Cedar County, which were gradually consolidated. In 1955, with no more one-room schoolhouses remaining to stoke fires in, she took a job teaching eighth-grade science in El Dorado Springs.

For the next 34 years, Jennie and her husband Ellis — a WWII Navy veteran and lifelong rural mail carrier who died in 1997 — worked and tended their 160-acre farm, which was an inspiration for Barritt taking the science job to begin with.

“We had the best of all worlds; the farm, animals, plants … and people,” Jennie says.

Read the rest of Jennie's story.