One Chicken Helped Make This Girl Scout Legacy Possible

One Chicken Helped Make This Girl Scout Legacy Possible

At the age of 5, Dianne Belk's family in rural Mississippi couldn't afford the yearly dues for her to become a Girl Scout. So she and her mother came up with a plan for her to sell the eggs from one chicken on the family farm to pay her dues.

Dianne's troop leader, Grace Wofford, helped her with the endeavor. As her Girl Scout participation grew, so did the expenses.

"Mama, I need another chicken!" she said a few years later.

This and so many other Girl Scout experiences paved the way to Dianne becoming a successful engineer. Retired now, she focuses on her real passion: reducing the barriers that young girls face in achieving equality in the world. Dianne and her husband, Lawrence Calder, are on this journey together.

"My husband and I are donors to Girl Scouts. In our 32 years together, we have lived in, worked in, and volunteered in four councils," Dianne says.

"We had been making annual gifts, buying cookies, and attending annual events. But then, as we thought about our wills and estate documents, we said, 'It isn't a question of: Why would we leave a legacy gift to Girl Scouts? It is a question of: Why wouldn't we?'" she says.

"When people ask me why I am a lifetime Girl Scout," Lawrence says, "I tell them about recognizing the impact and value of Girl Scouts in Dianne's life and seeing the difference that the movement can make in a girl's life."

As a Girl Scout, Dianne earned the Curved Bar award, the equivalent to the Gold Award today. In 2012, she was named the founding chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society.

"My husband and I hope that others will join us in the Juliette Gordon Low Society as donors to this vital and demonstrably effective organization. And when they do, we encourage them to tell the council or Girl Scouts of the USA about their intent so they can be recognized and help spread the word about the power of planned giving!"

Let Us Know

Contact Harriet Hessam at (212) 852-8054 or hhessam@girlscouts.org to learn how you can make a lasting difference with a gift from your estate or to let us know if you have already made this type of donation.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Girl Scouts of the United States of America a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018-2798, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Girl Scouts or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Girl Scouts as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Girl Scouts as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Girl Scouts where you agree to make a gift to Girl Scouts and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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