A Unique Strategy to Support Mass Audubon's Work
Setting up this Charitable Remainder Trust makes it possible for me both to honor my father and to play a part in protecting the natural world to benefit my children, grandchildren, and generations to come. — Anne Lombard
Anne Lombard is a retired biology teacher and one of Arcadia's long-term volunteers. She's not a financial advisor, but Anne wanted to share her own experiences with supporting causes she believes in—including Arcadia and Mass Audubon West—with Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT).
Thank you for sharing your experience with setting up a CRT that benefits Mass Audubon and for all you do to care for the environment, Anne!
Can you tell us what a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is in everyday language, given your experience of setting one up?
If you have a portion of income that you do not need to use immediately in its entirety—from an inheritance received or sale of stock or real estate, for example—you can consider setting up a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). With a CRT, you put the funds in a trust from which you will receive income each year (though the exact amount varies depending on the stock market). You also receive a tax deduction after setting up the trust. Only when you pass and no longer need the funds does the remaining principle go to charitable organizations that inspire you.
What inspired you to set up a CRT?
I feel connected to Arcadia so I want to make sure it thrives. I also believe strongly in the multiple-pronged missions of protecting land, educating about the environment, and acting to address climate change. Each of these three areas of work is important, but combining them makes the impact locally even greater. Arcadia is a wonderful community and there is so much energy at the sanctuary. I love seeing the new building happening like the Art House and the Pavilion.
How did you decide it was a good time to create one?
My husband and I were getting ready for retirement when I received an inheritance from my parents after my mother died. Looking at the total of our retirement and social security income, we knew another source of annual income would be helpful, but we didn’t need to use my inheritance in a lump sum. My children were through college and working so they didn’t need help then. We knew there were other things like our house that we could leave them as an inheritance.
The CRT met our immediate need for income but allowed me to make a commitment for future support to organizations that I was connected to and were doing important work. I worked with Vanguard to create the trust and put into writing the organizations that I wanted to receive the fund. You can change who receives the funds if desired but you can’t take the money back.
What impact do you want your giving to have on the environment?
A love of nature and a commitment to the environment runs in my family. I was a biology teacher and still am an Arcadia volunteer. My father, too was a biology teacher and ran a camp for boys in the White Mountains. Now my daughter works for the Nature Conservancy. Setting up this Charitable Remainder Trust makes it possible for me both to honor my father and to play a part in protecting the natural world to benefit my children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
Why did you choose to name Mass Audubon as a beneficiary for your gift?
I choose to support organizations with which I have a personal connection like Arcadia and Mass Audubon. Arcadia has been a big part of my life. I get to see and work with children who come here to walk in the woods and the fields. I’ve seen so many children through the years and I trust they will keep returning for years to come. Now at Arcadia we are helping those young people to be active in working on the climate crisis. That is so important.
I’m excited that Mass Audubon is now putting more energy into working with young people in urban areas so they can experience nature, be active around the environment and climate, and even one day enter the environmental field. I also see the importance of the land protection work that is happening to address climate change and create connected land for wildlife to move through.
Do you have any advice for other donors who may be considering a CRT?
Check in with both your financial advisor and the planned giving person at the organization you are thinking of supporting. They can help you see all the options available to you so you can make a choice that works for your situation.
A CRT is really an investment in the future. We are all so anxious now—and there is plenty to be anxious about! It helps you to feel better if you’ve done all you can do and worked to make a difference. A CRT is a way of making a difference over the long term.
More About CRTs
The minimum amount to set up a Charitable Remainder Trust is $100,000. There are other Life Income Plan options that can provide donors with an income stream and a gift for Mass Audubon after the donor’s lifetime. A Charitable Gift Annuity, for example, can be set with minimal paperwork for a minimum of $10,000.
Mass Audubon has an arrangement with State Street Global Advisors to manage donors’ charitable trusts set up to benefit the organization, thereby saving the donors significant investment and administration expenses. State Street manages the payments to the donor from the trust and prepares the trust tax returns. Donors receive monthly statements showing the value of their trust, how it is invested, and the income paid to the donor.
Learn more about giving to Mass Audubon through a Charitable Remainder Trust.