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Estate and Planning Giving - Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice

Estate and Planning Giving

You can build a legacy and sustain a movement: Astraea connects communities across geography, gender, race, identity and generations to create the world as a place where we can be who we are. Our actions today can “Fuel the Frontlines” for those who will follow us. Each of us can help to commit to the next generation of activists - we do this through thoughtful planning of our resources to ensure sustainability of our communities.

There are many ways of making a planned gift to Astraea. Each option is expressive of a donor’s particular interests and each have distinct tax implications. Moreover, a variety of assets may be appropriate for charitable gift purposes. Astraea has partnered with Penn Mutual to develop a one-hour webinar exploring the basics of developing a planned giving strategy, and this unique tool can demonstrate how each of us can have a profound impact on the people and organizations we value most.

Learn More About Planned Giving

Consider joining our “We Will Giving Circle” that celebrates those who have made planned gifts to Astraea through bequests, life income gifts, insurance policies and other estate planning vehicles. It provides a way for us to recognize members of the Astraea community who have designated us as a beneficiary of their estate during their lifetime and to involve them more intimately in the Foundation’s work.

“We need to think long term about giving to our gay or lesbian youth and institutions like Astraea or other lesbian organizations. They’re the ones who are nurturing our real daughters right now, around the world.”

—Jeanne Cordova


Bequests are the most common form of planned giving. Everyone should have a will, otherwise state law determines how your life’s accumulation of assets will be distributed. You may donate any asset in whole or in part, or designate Astraea to receive either a percentage of your estate or a specific dollar value. While Astraea benefits greatly from unrestricted bequests, we can work with donors to determine the way in which their gift may be used in perpetuity. Astraea uses donors’ bequests both to meet our annual funding needs and to grow our endowment.

IRA, 401(K) and 403(b) Pension Plans

If you are at least 70-1/2 years old, you are probably required to take minimum required distributions from your pension plans. Those distributions are taxable. If you do not need the distribution for your support, you can arrange for a direct transfer of the required distribution to the Astraea Foundation and save on taxes while still fulfilling your philanthropic goals. (The annual amount of such a transfer is generally limited to $100,000. Consult your tax advisor for additional requirements that apply to you).

Insurance Policies

Another way to donate to Astraea is to designate the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice as the beneficiary of your insurance policy either in full or as a percentage of the death benefit. If you have a fully paid-up whole life policy, you can transfer ownership to the Astraea Foundation. Either option may reduce your taxes – either now or in your estate. Astraea uses these funds as we do for bequests.

Deferred Gifts

In many cases, a deferred gift enables a donor to make a more significant contribution to Astraea than would be possible by an outright present gift. Most often such gifts are funded with cash or stock and take the form of life income arrangements, which generate income for the donor during her lifetime or for a term of years. The principal then reverts to Astraea. The donor receives immediate tax benefits for the contribution while helping insure Astraea’s future strength. The donor may name an income beneficiary other than herself, and she may also extend the income interest to include the life of a second or survivor beneficiary, although this reduces the tax benefits.

Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Gift Annuities

  • Cash, securities or real estate are transferred to an irrevocable trust. This trust or annuity pays income annually to you (or another beneficiary that you choose) with the remainder of the trust benefiting Astraea upon your (or their) death. Depending on the structure, the income provided to you may be fixed or variable. You qualify for tax advantages at the time the gift is made and the trust is exempt from estate taxes.

Charitable Lead Trusts

  • Cash, securities or real estate are transferred to an irrevocable trust. In this case the trust pays income to Astraea for a certain period of time. At the end of the trust period, the entire trust principal plus any appreciation and undistributed income returns to the donor or the designated beneficiaries. A lead trust may be especially effective for donors with a substantial estate.

If you would like to designate Astraea as a beneficiary in your will, insurance policy or retirement fund, or choose a deferred gift option, please contact the Development Department at development@astraeafoundation.org or 212-529-6144 (ext. 846). The information set forth above is not intended as legal or tax advice and is offered for general informational and educational purposes only. State income/estate taxes and state law differ by state and may impact your results differently than as described above. Consult your own tax advisor or attorney as to whether any of these alternatives, or other giving techniques, may be applicable to or the most advantageous for your particular situation.