Different from discretionary income donations, planned giving is a way to express generosity and receive the joy of making a difference by supporting Dharma Rain now and in the future. Reflecting on your priorities and some overall financial and estate planning enables anyone to leave a legacy that will help the dharma to flourish.
Such planning gives the donor the confidence that the dharma will be cared for well into the future; the appreciation and recognition of the sangha; and the satisfaction of upholding the practice, the teachings, and the community. There are also significant tax savings to be had – unused benefits can be taxed at rates up to 75% if left to heirs. Charitable income and estate tax deductions may also provide means of maximizing your ability to support the dharma and other commitments. Redirecting a portion of your estate that would otherwise go to taxes enables you to make a larger gift than might otherwise be possible, while still providing for your family.
Of course, Dharma Rain also benefits from a reliable source of income. Most importantly, those who “journey to the temple” in search of solace benefit from our diverse array of practices, programs and teachings. Northwest Zen Sangha is a 501(c)-3 tax-exempt organization, doing business as Dharma Rain Zen Center, and charitable contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Some ways to give through planned giving:
- Make a bequest to Northwest Zen Sangha: Add a written statement to your Will or Trust directing specific assets, a percentage of the estate, or the remainder of the estate, to be transferred at your death.Sample bequest language:
“I wish to remember Northwest Zen Sangha of Portland, Oregon, a qualifying not-for-profit IRS Code 501(c)3 organization with a gift in the amount of $_____________, or a designated percentage of ____% of my charitable estate, for its general uses and purposes.” (EIN: 93-6095067)
- Transfer stock to Northwest Zen Sangha: Transferring appreciated assets can bring significant tax savings to the donor.
- Name Northwest Zen Sangha as beneficiary on an IRA, 401(k), or pension. You may find that gifts of retirement assets can save your heirs undue tax burdens and allow you to accomplish your charitable objectives. When bequeathed to individual heirs, the assets will be taxed. As a public charity, Northwest Zen Sangha will not have to pay income taxes on the assets, which may allow you to make a larger gift and possibly save other nontaxable assets for donation to your heirs.
- Name Northwest Zen Sangha as beneficiary for a life insurance policy. There are several ways to do this:
- Donate a percentage: Designate a percentage of your life insurance policy.
- Offer a Paid-Up Policy: Most people own life insurance, and many have policies that have outlived their original purpose. For instance, policies for a college education, those insuring a business, or those protecting a mortgage, can make excellent gifts when given to a charitable organization. And the donor can deduct the replacement value of the policy.
- Buy a New Policy: Some people find they can make a much larger gift than they could otherwise afford by purchasing a life insurance policy and naming Northwest Zen Sangha as beneficiary. The future premiums paid are deductible as cash contributions.
- Buy Insurance to Replace a Bequest: Some people find that they can make a current gift of assets they had planned to bequeath in their wills. They receive the income-tax benefits now and replace the assets by buying a life-insurance policy for that amount. They enjoy the satisfaction of giving now and receiving the tax deduction now when they need it most. The beneficiaries will still receive the same amount.
Planned Gifts will be used at the Board of Director’s direction to further Dharma Rain’s mission:
- To provide for the Transmission of the teachings and practice of Soto Zen Buddhism.
- To be a sanctuary of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha in such a way as to cultivate compassion, love, wisdom and understanding within the members.
- To preserve the Transmission lineage.
- To promote lay practice first, but also provide for priest training.
- To provide the facilities and support the priests necessary for these ends, and to meet the religious needs of the members, their families, and the community at large.
- To provide the traditional religious services, counseling, and instruction of a Soto Zen Temple, and,
- To provide additional facilities such as retreat centers, affiliate temples, etc. as deemed necessary by the membership to fulfill these purposes.
Steps for Planned Giving
- Contact your lawyer, accountant, agent, or broker for specific information and to make your bequest, transfer, or name a beneficiary. The size and complexity of your estate, and the type of gift you choose impact the process of arranging a planned gift. This can be quite simple for an IRA, pension plan or life insurance gift; setting up a will, charitable trust or life income gift often requires professional assistance.
- Complete the Letter of Intent for Future Estate Gift and send it to Dharma Rain.