January 29th, 2021
Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Karen Elliott Galentine, Alpha Upsilon—West Virginia

Today, on her 187th birthday, we remember our beloved founder Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald. We remember her as a thought leader, a woman ahead of her time in founding the Adelphean Society in 1851. I’ve long found the foresight of Eugenia and her fellow Adelpheans to be inspiring. They had a dream to Be The First to establish an organization exclusively for college women. They identified a need and set out to meet it. Such careful planning is to be admired.

In my career, I’ve had the privilege of helping individuals and families plan for the future too – maybe not always 170 years into the future as Eugenia and the Adelpheans did, but plan for the future for their families and to meet their philanthropic goals. In fact, the most fun I’ve had as a professional fundraiser has been working with those who had a dream: they knew they just had to fulfill their passion for the organization, but they didn’t know how to make it happen.

We would set off on a path together, to create a plan that both provided for their family’s future and would make an impact on the organization they love. We’d always start with the priorities and the goals, then we’d come back to discuss ways to achieve them through planned giving.

Is planned giving for you? Certainly. Most definitely. Here’s why I believe planned giving is for everyone, no matter your age or family circumstances:

  1. If you don’t make your own plan, someone else will make it for you. Will they make the same decisions you would? Probably not.
  2. If you don’t have a will (you do have one, right?), your state has one for you. And you may not like how they do things. For example, your estate might not all go to your spouse. In some states, it might be divided between your spouse and children.
  3. You want to benefit the causes and organizations that you’ve been involved with during your lifetime. Your heirs might not have the same priorities and might make different decisions than you want.
  4. It’s important to be clear about your wishes to avoid family squabbles and divisions. Sadly, I’ve seen families divided over the teacup that no one thought about for a second until their mother passed away, just so another person wouldn’t get it. I’ve seen siblings literally sitting on the porch, armed, so that other siblings wouldn’t go into the family home and take something. These are, of course, extreme examples, but even minor disputes can be avoided by making a plan.

Once you decide what you’d like your money to accomplish, we can get technical – charitable trust, charitable gift annuity, insurance, bequest, etc. – with how to achieve your goals. Some options give you an income now while also supporting the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation. (You knew I was going to say that.) Other options leave you with full access to all that you own during your lifetime and then pass on to those you specify in your plan.

Whether you’re 22 or 82, I’d like you to consider including the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation in your plan. Your support will leave a lasting legacy on our sisterhood, and you can rest assured that the Foundation will be an excellent steward of your gift. Not sure where to start your planning process? One resource is the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation’s planned giving website: www.adpifoundationlegacy.org. You can learn more about some of the options available. Another resource, of course, is our Foundation staff and volunteers. We’d love to visit with you about giving opportunities that benefit our collegians and alumnae well into the future.

Eugenia would be grateful that her legacy lives on and that her careful planning has lasted a lifetime. Happy Birthday, Eugenia!