Legacy Giving: Planting a Seed for the Future

By Lisa Marquette, Development Director

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson


I received a call recently from a VISTE client who wanted our tax ID number because she is naming VISTE as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She wished to remain anonymous but wanted us to be aware that the funds will be coming eventually. She impressed upon me that “It’s not much, but I wanted to give back to VISTE since you’ve taken such great care of me!”

While I don’t know how much VISTE will receive from her generosity, I do know that once received, her gift will help provide essential services such as hot meals, supplemental groceries, and transportation to local seniors in need. VISTE clients will benefit directly from her gift.

This is what a Legacy gift looks like. In addition to annual giving, which is critical to VISTE’s year-to-year operations, Legacy gifts are important because they help sustain VISTE over the long term.

Legacy gifts come in a variety of amounts, from small to large, and are given for a variety of reasons. Sometimes VISTE is included alongside heirs; other times we are the sole beneficiary. In this case our generous donor had no other living relatives. She simply wanted to give back for the assistance she received from VISTE which allowed her to age safely at home.

Sometimes there can be misconceptions about Legacy giving, for example:

  • Legacy gifts are large monetary gifts.
  • One must be wealthy to make a Legacy gift or have a large estate.
  • Legacy gifts are complicated or complex.

In fact, most Legacy gifts are from everyday people wanting to give what they can to make a difference for future generations. VISTE has received Legacy gifts from clients, volunteers, staff, board members, and other community members – anyone can be a Legacy donor! Most Legacy gifts are not complex – the client in our story is a good example.

Here are three ways to make Legacy gifts in order of simplicity:

  • Name VISTE as a beneficiary of these type of accounts: Retirement Accounts, Life Insurance Policies, Investment Accounts, and Bank Accounts.
  • Include VISTE in your will or bequest.
  • Establish a Charitable Trust or other planned gift.

By deciding to support VISTE through a Legacy gift, you help ensure that VISTE will be here, providing care for your elderly neighbors in perpetuity.

If you already have a planned or Legacy gift in place, will you consider letting us know? By knowing in advance that you have named VISTE in your Legacy giving, we can thank you during your lifetime and discuss how you would like your Legacy gift to be used. In addition, to help inspire and encourage others to consider a Legacy gift, you may also wish to allow us to use your name as a VISTE Legacy Giving supporter. Of course, you may choose to remain anonymous, just as our client did in this story.

To let us know that you are including VISTE in your planned giving, please click here: https://viste.org/letter-of-intent/

For questions about Legacy gifts and information on other ways to support VISTE, contact me at lisa@viste.org or (863) 284-0828. Please know that VISTE is not able to provide legal or financial advice – for that you will need to consult with your financial or tax advisor. However, should you need these resources, we would be happy to provide names of trusted advisors in the community. Thank you for considering a Legacy gift to help VISTE clients over the long term!

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