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July 2021



William D. Seklar

As you may know, on January 1, 2018, The Community House Association’s Board of Directors announced the creation of a new and separate entity: The Community House Foundation to act as a supporting organization to The Community House Association.

With this historic announcement we learned that the mission of the new Community House Foundation was to generate and secure supplemental philanthropic funds needed to fulfill our promise – to families and to the Community – who depend on us to deliver a variety of quality programs and services throughout the region.


In addition to securing supplemental funding to maintain quality programming and services at TCH, The Community House Association’s leadership also mandated that The Community House Foundation dedicate itself to raising funds and awareness for the preservation and perpetual care of The Community House Association’s historic building and nearly century-old plant. 


With these goals in mind, much of The Community House Foundation’s initial efforts to date have focused on educating and carefully pairing passionate and caring donors with the immediate and emerging needs of The Community House – critical needs over and above its normal day to day operations.

Fortunately, over the last 18 months, charitable donations and estate/legacy gifts at The Community House Foundation continued to come in – despite the devastating pandemic. Surely, COVID-19 created needs over and above “normal” day to day operations. Much of this giving occurred through several key transformational planned gifts – gifts made after a donor's death. The impact of these estate gifts during 2020 were undeniable. Without these estate gifts, our ability to navigate through the treacherous waters of the last year, to where we are today – most unlikely.

When establishing The Community House Foundation, we learned that planned giving is the process of donating planned gifts. A planned gift is a contribution that is arranged in the present and designated (allocated) to an organization at a future date. Commonly donated through a will or trust, planned gifts are most often granted once the donor has passed away. It sounds scary, but it is not. It sounds complicated but it is often not.

Legacy giving, generally referred to as planned giving, is a donation made by an individual through a will or other formal designation. It can be easy, quite painless – and always impactful. Legacy gifts are typically prepared for a donor through a financial planner or attorney and are meant to reflect the values and desires of the donor. Whether leaving a bequest as a tribute to a family member or to create a legacy for themselves, donors benefit from planned gifts because they can make a lasting impact on a cause that is important to them. 

In many cases, a legacy gift is made upon someone’s death, but not always. Legacy giving can take several forms, including recurring donations that begin while the donor is alive and continue after they are deceased. And legacy gifts do not have to be monetary, either. They can include material goods, property, stocks – anything that is of value to the beneficiary. We consider those donors who inform us of their gift commitments – a very special group. They have set themselves apart and are demonstrating to the historic Community House that they care and want to be recognized for their gifts during their lifetime.

To honor this special group of people, The Community House Foundation has established a number of recognition societies that pay tribute to those who have made a gift commitment to us through their estate or other long-term commitment. Membership into our giving societies, including the Bates Street Society, will be reserved for donors who have arranged for a gift to TCH through their will or living trust, a life insurance or retirement plan beneficiary designation, gift annuity, charitable remainder trust or other life income gift.

As we turn the page on our “second century” of service in 2023, it is with great hope for a strong and certain future that The Community House and The Community House Foundation officially unveils its “new” Legacy and Planned Giving Program.

As part of the roll out of this new program, friends and supporters of TCH can soon expect:

• A semi-annual newsletter, BATES 380, delivered to your mailbox or inbox.

• Life Stage Gift Planner™ to help guide you through financial strategies and possible charitable solutions to the challenges and opportunities you may be facing.

• Access to a Gift Comparison Chart & Analysis Tool to determine a gift strategy that fits your needs.

• Monthly blog on the most up-to-date giving strategies and planning tools.

• Access to dozens of Planned Giving & Estate Planning educational brochures.

• A complimentary, (if requested) customized planned giving plan tailored to your specific needs.

In the meantime, should you be interested in learning more about estate planning, legacy and planned gifts or naming opportunities at The Community House now, please contact the Office of President at 248.644.5832.

William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House and The Community House Foundation in Birmingham.


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