Planned Giving

Why is Great Books important to you? Did you discover the excitement of reading and discussion in Junior Great Books? Are you a participant in a Great Books group now? An educator? A supporting partner? We value the time and enthusiasm you bring to your involvement. You are important to the Great Books Foundation—today and for years to come.

With a planned gift to the Great Books Foundation, you can help secure the future of the Great Books mission, realize potential benefits now as well as to your estate, and create your own legacy of generosity. Your planned gift means that the Great Books Foundation will continue to represent respect for ideas, reverence for words, belief in the possibility–and necessity–of universal literacy, and dedication to Shared Inquiry as ways to create a future of readers and thinkers.

Why consider a planned gift to the Great Books Foundation?

  • You will ensure the growth of vital Foundation programs for future generations
  • You can work with Great Books Foundation development professionals to determine a plan that works best for you and your financial goals
  • You may receive tax benefits, now and for your heirs
  • You can help manage your assets during your lifetime by planning for a future gift
  • You can choose to support an initiative that is most meaningful to you—or make an unrestricted gift to the special reserve fund

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.

—Maya Angelou

Planned Giving Options

Gifts by Bequest

One of the easiest ways to make a planned gift is a bequest in your will or revocable living trust. You can determine a specific amount, percentage, or residual gift bequest to the Great Books Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. Your bequest can be made to honor a loved one, in your own name, or anonymously.

To make a general bequest in your will or revocable charitable trust to the Great Books Annual Fund, a specific program, or the special reserve fund, simply include a clause directing a gift to the Great Books Foundation. If you already have a will, you can add a bequest with a supplement, called a codicil.

IRAs and Retirement Plans

You may name the Great Books Foundation as the beneficiary of an Individual Retirement Account or your employer’s pension plan. This may benefit you and your heirs by allowing you to manage these funds during your lifetime and reducing estate taxes.

IRA Charitable Rollover

If you currently have an IRA, you are required to take annual distributions at age 70 ½. These distributions are then included in your adjusted gross income and subject to taxes. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows you to make donations directly to charitable organizations from your IRA up to $100,000 without counting them as part of your adjusted gross income and, consequently, without paying taxes on them. A gift from your IRA distribution means you not only reduce your taxable income, you also receive a charitable deduction.

Life Insurance

A gift of life insurance, through a new or existing policy, designating the Great Books Foundation as the owner and beneficiary, will give you an income tax deduction for the value of the policy when the gift is made, as well as income tax deductions for future premium payments.

Including the Great Books Foundation Foundation, Inc. in your will is simple and direct, using the following language as a guide.

I give $__________, or, __________% of my residuary estate, to:
Option A. Great Books Foundation (Tax ID 36-2182034)
Option B. Great Books Foundation (Tax ID 36-2182034) to support__________ (name of program or specific interest).
Option C. Great Books Foundation (Tax ID 36-2182034) to contribute toward the special reserve fund.

Before making a planned gift, please meet with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss your philanthropic objectives, planned gift options, and income and tax implications.

We’re here to help. We would be happy to work with you and your financial representative to create a giving plan that is right for you. Please contact Joseph Coulson, President, at 312-646-7109 or use the form below. 



I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.

—Dr. Jonas Salk