We all want to leave a legacy—to our children, our families, our community. For many of us, our legacy will also involve philanthropy.

Planned Giving—what happens during your life—is an effective way to make an even bigger impact with your philanthropic dollars than you may have imagined.

The Omaha Community Foundation works with individuals and families to facilitate impactful giving by understanding what donors want to accomplish. Then, we provide the knowledge and pathway to get there.

Your support of organizations and programs is a symbol of your commitment to strengthening this city, and the process of creating your philanthropic legacy should reflect not only these commitments, but all of your accomplishments, passions, and life experiences.

Based on our breadth of experience and the many conversations we’ve had with donors, we’ve developed some first steps for anyone to think about as they consider how to leave their philanthropic legacy in our community:

Include Your Loved Ones. The inclusion of as many family members or friends as possible is usually the best approach when considering how to structure your legacy gifts. Not only does this teach philanthropy to others, but it also clearly articulates your expectations of philanthropy after life. It is always much easier to execute somebody’s wishes when a person is certain of those wishes and has expressed them both verbally and in written form.

Be Intentional. Think strategically about your life history, experiences, and interests. How would you like to see your philanthropic wishes continue to enrich the organizations and causes that have brought joy and meaning to your life?

Create a Statement of Donor Intent (SDI). This sounds like a formal and difficult process, but it can be very simple and straightforward. A SDI is a document that details a person’s history and intentions. This document can be either informal or official; it can be one page or a dozen; it’s the document that will follow your philanthropy after your lifetime. If there are any uncertainties or questions about intentions, passions, or goals, this piece can provide those answers. Typically, it is distributed to all family members and some (or all) nonprofits who would receive gifts in your planning. OCF can provide examples of SDIs to help guide this process.

Have fun with this planning. Talking about what happens after our lives is difficult and emotional, and the same holds true for discussing after-life giving. However, approaching it with a perspective of impact and legacy can result in a process that becomes more effective and enjoyable for all. Making sure your wants and needs are in place can also provide a sense of comfort and security, not to mention ease and satisfaction to donors and their families.

By combining our decades of experience collaborating with donors and nonprofits across this community, and the simple power of time and planning, together we can build a customized legacy giving plan that can maximize your estate, while demonstrating your lasting commitment to the organizations and issues most important to you.

To take the first step in planning your giving, and to learn more about how the Foundation can help you create a meaningful legacy, reach out to us at 402-342-3458 or giving@omahafoundation.org.