Gift Planning

Introducing the Purple Legacy Society: Continuing the legacy of John Purple Howard and his sister Louisa Howard

In 1882, John Purple Howard made what must have seemed to be a simple donation at the time. When his sister Louisa Howard asked him to support the Ladies Aid Society, he couldn't have known that his $200 contribution would become one of the key building blocks of today's Howard Center.

The Purple Legacy Society honors those who care deeply about the people served by Howard Center and want to make gifts of lasting value through bequests and other planned gifts.

We are grateful to these generous individuals for making Howard Center's mission part of their legacies and for insuring that the caring, helping hand we provide will continue to be there for people in need.

For more information on gift planning, please contact Mike Glod, Senior Development and Communications Director, by e-mail at or by calling 802.488.6905.

Most people want to feel they can make a difference. Gift planning provides opportunities for individuals to make a difference into the future to benefit Howard Center. Many options are available that can meet the goals of the donor, whether it is for income during their lifetime or for estate or income tax savings. You do not need to have a large estate in order to make a planned or legacy gift. As an example, a planned gift of $2,500 can endow the equivalent of an annual gift of $100 in perpetuity. There are many options to consider.


A bequest to Howard Center in your will is the easiest and most common method of making a planned gift and as a charitable bequest, it is deductible when calculating any estate taxes. There is no limit on the amount of a charitable deduction. The following language could be used in making such an unrestricted bequest: “I hereby give and bequeath the sum of ________ dollars (or ______ percent of the residuary portion of my estate) to Howard Center, Inc., Burlington, VT, for its general charitable use and purposes (or for its endowment).”

IRA’s and Retirement Plans

If you name Howard Center as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or IRA, you avoid income tax when Howard Center receives its share of your plan.

Life Insurance

You can contribute a policy which you no longer need or make Howard Center a designated beneficiary for all or a portion of the proceeds, resulting in either an immediate income tax deduction or a reduction of your estate for purposes of estate taxes.

Charitable Gift Annuity

In exchange for a gift of money or securities, Howard Center will pay you and/or a loved one a fixed amount annually for the rest of your life. A portion of this income is not taxed, and you also receive a charitable deduction for part of your gift as calculated with IRS tables.

Charitable Lead Trusts

You may support Howard Center for a term of years or for the life of an individual by creating a charitable lead trust. Income will be paid to your fund at Howard Center each year during the term of the trust. When the trust terminates, the assets in the trust revert to you or to individuals you wish to benefit.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

You may use an irrevocable trust to provide yourself and/or a loved one with a fixed annual income or an income which varies with the value of the trust. Part of your gift qualifies for an income tax deduction, as calculated with IRS tables. At the death of the last income beneficiary, the corpus of the trust is distributed to your fund at Howard Center.

Real Estate with Retained Life Estate

A residence or other real property may be given as an outright gift, or you may prefer to give your residence, farm, or vacation home and retain the right to occupy it for life. You get a charitable deduction in the year you arrange your gift. Please consult Howard Center’s Gift Acceptance Policy if you are considering a real estate donation.

Special acknowledgment goes to The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) and Leave A Legacy NH/VT for these definitions of a number of the most popular options individuals and couples are including in their estate plans. Howard Center has a partnership agreement with VCF for charitable gift annuities and other life income gifts. This partnership gives us the opportunity to offer our supporters a vehicle through which they can receive income throughout their lives and benefit from tax savings.