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Planning Your Legacy Gift

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If ideas excite you ... if you love cultural expression, education and trusted information ... if you seek a safe place for children where they will experience the thrill of learning ... if an independent voice is important to you amid the confusing jumble of media "messaging" ... then you understand the importance of WHYY TV12, 91FM and WHYY.org.

The Laurence LePage Society

In the beginning, the vision of what was to become WHYY rested with a group of dedicated citizens, spearheaded by founding board member, Dr. Laurence LePage. It was through the foresight and generosity of Dr. LePage that public broadcasting was established in Philadelphia in 1954.

Dr. LePage's leadership was instrumental in the development of early educational and cultural programming. His vision, programming of the best quality, widely available to everyone - includes much that gives WHYY its distinctive character today.

The Laurence LePage Society has been established to recognize and honor those who have provided for WHYY in their estate plans. We invite you to join this distinguished group of public media supporters. As a member of the Laurence LePage Society, you will receive exclusive event invitations, newsletters, and special acknowledgement as someone who has helped preserve lifelong learning in our area for future generations.

By joining the LePage Society, your foresight and planning helps ensure that generations to come will enjoy the values that are most important to you.

When you create this wonderful legacy, you can also reduce your current or future tax burden, increase your income, and meet your own personal and financial objectives.

Making a planned gift does not require great wealth, and WHYY will work with you, and your tax or estate planner, to help determine which type of gift is best for you. Just click on a gift type listed below for more information.

Income for Life:

Make the gift now and get immediate tax benefits:

Maintain flexibility by planning now for a revocable gift effective at death:

View Frequently Asked Questions. Download a PDF of WHYY's Planned Giving Chart.

WHYY Contact Information

To request a brochure or discuss any planned giving subjects, please contact Maggi Leyden in the WHYY Gift Planning Department:

  • E-Mail: mleyden@whyy.org
  • Phone: (215) 351-3305
  • Fax: (215) 351-2023
  • Mail:
    Maggi Leyden
    Planned Giving Department
    150 N. Sixth Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not wealthy. How could I have an estate big enough to make a charitable gift?
Most people are surprised at the total value of their assets when they take into account their home, retirement plans, IRAs, personal property, and investments. After providing for family and friends, it is often possible to plan a charitable gift as well. Gifts such as Trusts or Charitable Gift Annuities can provide a donor with lifetime income, often with a higher return than many other investments.

I don't know much about planned giving. How can WHYY be of help to me?
A member of WHYY's Development Team would be happy to discuss your questions with you - with no obligation on your part to make a gift. We can provide you with general information, which you can then discuss with your financial and/or legal advisor. WHYY will never pressure you or share your information with third parties.

Download a PDF of the WHYY Planned Giving Chart.

The information provided on this website is general in nature and is not intended to be tax or legal advice applying to your specific situation. You should seek information from a qualified professional advisor when considering a planned gift.

How can I make a gift to WHYY through my existing will?
It's an easy process. Your attorney can simply add a "codicil" to your current will, using simple bequest language that allocates a fixed amount, a percentage of your estate or the remainder of you estate to WHYY.

I may want to remain anonymous. How would notifying WHYY be of value to me?
Knowing your intentions will help WHYY better plan for the future We feel strongly about expressing our gratitude to you for your gift and would be honored to welcome you into WHYY's Laurence LePage Society - which recognizes supporters who have included WHYY in their estate plans. You would receive newsletters and even be invited to special WHYY events. If you choose to have your gift publicized, you may even inspire others to give.

What general information do I need to know about WHYY when making a gift?

Full legal name: WHYY, Inc.
Federal Tax I.D. Number: 23-1438083
Main Office Address: 150 N. Sixth Street
Independence Square West
Philadelphia, PA 19106

If you are making a bequest, sample bequest language can be found in Wills and Trusts. Broker information for current stock gifts can be found in Stocks and Mutual Funds.

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Charitable Gift Annuities

Benefits to You:

  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Income that is partially tax-free
  • Charitable deduction
  • No capital gains tax on appreciated assets used to fund the trust
  • Fixed payments with no rate fluctuations
  • Membership in The Laurence LePage Society

A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) provides you with immediate and sustained income. With a CGA, you transfer cash or securities to WHYY, and WHYY pays you, or someone you name, reliable, fixed payments for life. The older the income beneficiary (or beneficiaries) at the time the CGA begins to pay out income, the higher the rate of return. CGAs carry exclusive tax benefits as well.

The income you receive is determined by the amount of your gift and your age(s).

Suggested Single Life Gift Rates established by the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA), effective July 1, 2010:
Age Rate
65 5.5%
70 5.8%
75 6.4%
80 7.2%
85 8.1%

Annuitants must be at least 65 years old when payments begin, and payments can be received quarterly, semiannually, or annually. The minimum amount for a Charitable Gift Annuity is $10,000.

To get more information with no obligation, and the most update rates, contact Maggi Leyden at (215) 351-3305 or mleyden@whyy.org. Of course, all of your information remains confidential.

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Charitable Remainder Trust

Benefits to You:

  • Income for life or a term of years
  • Potential for low-yielding assets to turn into more income
  • Income tax deduction
  • No capital gains tax on appreciated assets used to fund the trust
  • Potentially reduced estate taxes and probate costs
  • Membership in The Laurence LePage Society

With a Charitable Remainder Trust, you establish a trust with an investment firm that manages the assets. The trust will provides you, or anyone you name, with annual income payments for life or for a term of years specified by you.

There are two types of charitable remainder trusts:

  • Annuity trust - Payments are fixed and are set when the trust is created. The annuity trust is most attractive to individuals who wish to avoid market risk.
  • Unitrust - Payments are variable, based upon a set percentage of the value of the trust's assets, which is revalued each year.

At the termination of the contract, the investment firm that you chose will pay to WHYY the remainder of the trust, or portion of the remainder, that you have determined.

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Wills and Trusts

A charitable bequest in your will or living trust is a simple yet effective way of providing for WHYY while holding assets througout your lifetime. When drafting a will, there are various types of bequests for different needs:

  • Specific Bequest: Name WHYY the beneficiary of a stated amount of money, a particular piece of property, or a stated percentage of your estate.
  • Residuary Bequest: Designate WHYY to receive all or a portion of the remainder of your estate once all specific bequests (to family and friends) have been satisfied.
  • Contingent Bequest: Often, individuals provide that assets should go to family members or friends. However, it is important to provide for a contingent beneficiary to receive assets in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you.

Bequests to WHYY are deductible from your gross estate and can therefore offer estate tax savings. There is no limit on the amount you can leave to WHYY or to other charitable organizations through your will.

Suggested Bequest Wording

"I give, devise and bequeath to WHYY, Inc., a non-profit corporation in the state of Pennsylvania, the sum of $_____ (or _____% of my estate) (or all of the residuary of my estate) to be used for (options include, but are not limited to: general purposes, endowment, educational programs, arts/culture programming, 91FM programs, TV12 programs, Digital Broadcast Services)."

Future Publication of Gift
Planned giving funds may qualify for state, federal, private or other matching funds or challenge grant programs.

"It is my desire that WHYY, Inc. apply for any matching funds or challenge grants from federal, state, private or other sources which might be available as a result of this gift. Furthermore, it is my desire that any funds transferred by this instrument may be used as part of any matching or challenge grant received by the institution."

It's an easy process to make a gift to WHYY through your existing Will. Your attorney can simply add a "codicil" to your current will, using simple bequest language that allocates a fixed amount, a percentage of your estate or the remainder of you estate to WHYY.

A Trust can be modified through a procedure called "amendment". You should contact your attorney to amend your Trust when you want to change or add beneficiaries, change disposition of assets in the trust, or change trustees.

Why Have a Will or Trust

When someone dies without a Will or Living Trust (also known as a Revocable Living Trust or a Family Trust), Probate Courts will distribute the estate according to existing state laws. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process that diminishes the estate. Friends and favorite charities will not be taken into consideration.

Having a valid Will or Trust will make you feel secure and confident that your intentions for your family will be carried out and your tradition of charitable giving will continue.

With a Will or Trust

  • You direct the distribution of your assets to those people and organizations you care about most about.
  • You choose an executor who will oversee the distribution of your assets and minimize administration expenses.

Without a Will or Trust

  • State statutes determine the distribution of your property.
  • The court appoints an administrator for you.
  • Because the administrator is subject to constant court supervision, the cost of administering the estate may be greater.
  • You cannot provide for minors. The court will appoint a guardian for them, and the guardian will make decisions about a child's care that you could have made.
  • Specific heirs may not receive the proportion you would have intended for them.
  • Your estate may lose thousands of dollars in needless taxes because you did not take advantage of the tax-saving opportunities available to you.
  • You cannot support a charitable cause.

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Retirement Plans

Retirement plans, when passed on to heirs, can incur as much 60 percent or higher in taxes, because this asset faces double taxation. Not only is the amount of the plan reduced by estate taxes, but the recipient must also pay income taxes on the plan.

If you plan to make a legacy gift to WHYY, consider naming us the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), pension or other retirement plan and leaving other assets to your family. Naming WHYY the primary beneficiary avoids all income and estate taxes on the retirement plan.

To make the designation, advise your plan administrator of your decision, then complete and sign the appropriate form.

Remember: it is necessary to complete the retirement plan's "change of beneficiary" form and send it to the plan administrator. Simply naming a charity as a beneficiary of your retirement plan in your will or trust does not guarantee that your wishes will be carried out.

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Life Insurance

There are several ways you can use life insurance as the basis for a charitable gift:

Make WHYY the Beneficiary
By making WHYY the beneficiary (or a contingent beneficiary) of a life insurance policy, you can make a sizeable future gift. You retain ownership of the policy, and its proceeds will be included in your gross estate, and your estate can take an estate tax charitable deduction.

In order for this change to take effect, it is necessary to complete the retirement plan's "change of beneficiary" form and send it to the appropriate policy administrator.

Transfer Ownership of a New or Existing Policy to WHYY
You can transfer ownership of a policy to WHYY, or purchase a new policy with WHYY as both owner and beneficiary. In this scenario, you are entitled to greater tax advantages, which depend upon your policy type and other variables. For information you can discuss with your tax advisor, contact WHYY at (215) 351-3305 or mleyden@whyy.org

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Regardless of how you support WHYY, your gift will go toward bringing the best in public media to the entire community - Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, On Canvas, It's Our City, Nova, Mystery!, Masterpiece, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Sesame Street, Washington Week in Review, Antiques Roadshow, American Experience, All Things Considered, educational children's programs, and so much more.

WHYY Contact Information

To request a brochure or discuss any planned giving subjects, please contact Maggi Leyden in the WHYY Gift Planning Department:

  • E-Mail: mleyden@whyy.org
  • Phone: (215) 351-3305
  • Fax: (215) 351-2023
  • Mail:
    Maggi Leyden
    Planned Giving Department
    150 N. Sixth Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106