Planning a Future Gift: Leaving Your Legacy

Click here for a simple chart of giving options, an explanation of each option, and the related benefit of giving.

The generous support of thoracic surgeons, as well as major gifts from individuals, both surgeons and committed friends, private foundations, and industry have enabled the TSFRE to make remarkable progress in securing the financial support necessary for our education and research initiatives. To assure the continuation of these programs as well as to allow for growth of new programs, such as the partnerships with NHLBI, NCI, and the new educational programs that are being developed, the TSFRE seeks endowment gifts from individuals, particularly surgeons to help establish the necessary future growth of the organization.

We ask thoracic surgeons and others to consider making a major gift to the TSFRE and thereby establishing your legacy within our specialty. Planned giving is often the best vehicle for individuals to make such major gifts.  Planned Giving is the process of making charitable gift in a way that provides maximum benefit to the charity and donor.  Such gifts usually involve major assets, thus requires thoughtful consideration.

While making a Planned Gift can be challenging, and on occasion, time consuming, making a substantial gift to an organization such as TSFRE can also be one of life’s most satisfying experiences. There are four steps we would suggest to guide you in fulfilling a Planned Gift:

1. Ponder. Consider what you would like to accomplish with your gift, what is your purpose? Why do you want to make the gift?  Explore your motivations and expectations. Review your assets, especially those that have appreciated in value.  What can you avoid to give without jeopardizing retirement and emergency needs. Consider your family and other obligations.Do you need lifetime income from your gift? Do you need tax relief? Do you want to create a legacy through an endowment fund?Weigh all of these options and jot down key thoughts.  Good planning begins with inhibitive reflection, creative thinking, and goal setting.
2. Learn. The second step is to gather information and advice. Contact the Foundation office and request literature. Then, outline a gift arrangement that helps you meet your objectives.Once you have acquired an understanding of the gift vehicle and are satisfied that it fits your plans, seek the counsel of a trusted advisor. This is especially important with sizeable gifts and complicated arrangements. When you obtain the information you need and feel comfortable with the decision to proceed, move to the next step.
3. Act. Following through to actually make a Planned Gift can be the hardest part of the process, especially when the gift is irrevocable. The thought of giving up cherished assets can also cause hesitation.Whatever your situation, the action step will come easier if you have taken the time to ponder carefully your objectives and have acquired sufficient knowledge to know that the gift arrangement is a good one. The act of giving a well planned gift can be exhilarating.
4. Notify. Once you complete your Planned Gift, let the TSFRE know. Of course, we are often included in the process and know when the gift occurs or will occur. At other times, such as bequests, we are not aware of such a gift being made unless you inform us.Notification is important – and brings closure to the gift plan – in that it permits us to respond to you with the appropriate recognition. Also, knowing that a Planned Gift has been made helps us to look ahead in our planning and projections. A further reason is the positive effect this news has on others who may be considering a Planned Gift to the Foundation.

We encourage you to ponder the possibilities and learn all you can from your Planned Giving Specialists and your trusted advisors.  Armed with sufficient information, you will have the sense of rightness to make your gift confidently and joyfully.  And then, if we don’t already know, tell us the good news!  Let us honor you for your generosity, foresight, and encouragement.

While emphasizing the importance of considering all of your options in making a Planned Gift to the TSFRE, there are common vehicles for giving to the TSFRE.


The most commonly used Planned Gift mechanism is one where a donor leaves a charitable donation through a will.  Among the most common means of making such a bequest are the following:

  • Giving a specific dollar amount to the charity of the donor’s choice
  • Bequests of a specific piece of property or other assets
  • Giving a fixed percentage of the assets passed to the estate
  • Donation of the residue of the estate after making provisions for family members and other loved ones

Contact TSFRE for more information on planning a future gift. You can also click here for a simple chart of giving options, an explanation of each option, and the related benefit of giving.