Mission Matters - April, 2024

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Planned Giving DUE DILIGENCE

It’s always strongly recommended that anyone considering a commitment to a charitable organization first conduct their own due diligence. This can include gathering the proper information about financial wellness, operating strategy and mission alignment.

“Align your due diligence to the size of your contribution. This process requires effort, so it should be balanced and measured with your charitable intentions,” Nick Mahler, vice president of Mission Advancement and Development for the Masonic Charities, recently shared with a donor who was considering a gift of appreciated real estate.

Whether you are considering a $500 outright gift or a $5,000,000 planned giving opportunity, the charity you are motivated to support should meet your expectations. Researching, asking questions, visiting, attending an event (if possible) or even volunteering (if interested) are concrete methods to learn about an organization’s mission.

For a deeper dive into completing your due diligence with the Masonic Charities, we welcome you to schedule an in-person visit or call our office to discuss your planned gift. Consider including your trusted professional to make the most of the time and conversation.

Masonic Charities Update

Recently, the Masonic Charities worked with a donor to evaluate a range of giving strategies, from annuities to trusts, to determine the best options for a significant planned gift. Valuable time was spent on the analysis of capital gains avoidance, tax deductions enjoyed, income generated for the donor and family, estimated remainder to charity and many other aspects.

“We like to mock up illustrations and examples to share with donors, so they can see with their own eyes what a potential gift would look like on paper. It’s a great way to visualize the impact for both the charity and the donor,” Nick explained.

The Masonic Charities team enjoys spending time with donors and their professional advisors reviewing planned gift options, solutions and resources to determine what works best for the donor’s goals. If you are interested in discussing your plan and objectives with us, please reach out and let us know you would like to learn more. Our financial information is available on our website, and we offer a range of publications about our mission at work across the charities we support.

Listed below, you will find links to useful tools and information on our Masonic Charities, so you can start your due diligence journey today!

Feel free to contact us Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., by calling 800-599-6454 or 717-367-1121 ext. 33460 or emailing giving@masonicvillages.org.

APRIL 2024
Visit masoniccharitiespa.org to explore our Masonic Charities. Visit masoniccharitieslegacy.org
download a free Estate Planning Guide
Wills Planner.

SPOTLIGHT Carrie Leitzell

Carrie Leitzell began her career with Masonic Charities helping donors invest in annuities. When trusts became popular, she also helped manage those for which Masonic Village serves as the trustee so its donors can avoid fees.

As the daughter of an economist, Carrie has always had an interest in finance.

“I’ve always saved money and been my family’s financial manager,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot in my role here and enjoy helping people manage their funds and save money.”

According to Carrie, annuities offer donors many benefits: tax savings, the satisfaction of supporting their favorite charity and receiving a dependable income for themselves and their family through payouts.

Donors enjoy these benefits so much, in fact, that many come back for more. “Forty percent of our current annuitants have more than one annuity,” Carrie said.

She also shared insight on another reason why donors repeat their gifts.

“I think they enjoy working with us because they often say, ‘I’m so glad to speak to someone on the phone; a lot of times, you get a voicemail or a recorded prompt. It’s so nice to talk to a human,’” Carrie relayed. “We provide a personalized service. If our donors have any problem; if they change banks or didn’t cash a check, they just call, and we take care of their needs. I also think they trust the Masonic reputation.”

When donors want to explore ways to donate and provide for their family, Carrie and the Masonic Charities team are available to go over options for gift planning, provide illustrations on payouts and describe various options and scenarios to help them see what fits their goals and family dynamics. Donors finalize the agreement with their legal counsel; then, Masonic Charities carry out their wishes.

“We send out the annuity payouts; they don’t come from a bank,” Carrie explained. “We also provide all the tax documents our donors need.”

After 24 years of assisting others in attaining their gift planning objectives, Carrie will retire in September.

“My goal was to reach 1,000 annuities before I retired, and we just completed our 1,007th,” she said.

Carrie looks forward to spending more time helping with her growing family. In addition to her four grandchildren, Carrie supports her mom, Mary, who resides in the Masonic Health Care Center at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. Carrie’s youngest daughter, Megan, met her future husband while working in one of the campus dining rooms as a teenager; the couple welcomed their first daughter, Maya, last month.

Megan, Mary and Carrie

“I’m going to miss my job; everyone is like family,” Carrie said. “I’ll also miss my interactions with the donors. I’ve come to know some very well. I enjoy supporting them and hearing their life stories. Some have given me good advice on financial planning and life in general.”

Not only is Carrie grateful to be able to help others making a difference, but she sees first-hand how charitable contributions are put to work every time she visits her mother.

“It’s so fulfilling to see how mission support ensures residents get the care they need,” Carrie said. “My mom loves to see the entertainers they’re able to bring in. Music therapy, getting her nails done … little things like that make her happy. Her home is clean, all the residents are well taken care of and the staff is wonderful; I could never do their job. They know her very well and treat her like a family member.”

What Makes the Masonic Charities Unique?

Follow a dollar from a donor to our charities, as it becomes the highest quality care and services.

You may have attended a workshop on this subject at one of our Masonic Village locations across Pennsylvania in March or April. If you couldn’t make it, here is a summary of what you missed.

How does an organization sustain offering the highest quality services, despite economic downturns? The answer can be found through a story of struggle and success in a world that will never be the same. While the odds are stacked against us, the heroes have prevailed. (Yes, we mean YOU!)

The Masonic Villages can persevere, thanks to the generosity of donors, past and present, who support the cornerstone mission. Masonic Villages’ philosophy and methodologies used to invest and protect its entrusted funds help ensure future generations can benefit.

Some key topics covered include a look at restricted and unrestricted funds utilized, strategic operating ratios and goals, recurring entrance fees in retirement living, 5-Star quality care, rising operating costs, low reimbursement rates and many other fascinating aspects of how our organization is forward thinking.

Visit the website using the link below to learn more; you may even view the full presentation if you wish!

The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Masonic Charities One Masonic Drive
APRIL 2024 MISSION MATTERS Masonic Charities Update In 2024, the Masonic Charities made a shift away from its past practice of publishing donor memorial and honorarium gifts in our publications. The rising costs to print, mail and produce these sections was impacting the dollars available to provide charitable care and services. With these changes, the costs to produce these publications decreased significantly, and those dollars can now be used to support the mission directly. Memorial and honorarium gifts can be found on the Masonic Charities website, MasonicCharitiesPa.org/gift. Contact us at MasonicCharitiesLegacy.org or call 1-800-599-6454 View our charitable solicitation disclosures by scanning the QR code or visiting MasonicCharitiesPa.org. Reinventing How We Say “Thank You”
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