Helen Keller Society

We invite you to join the Helen Keller Society

The Helen Keller Society has been established to help ensure AFB's future and thereby perpetuate the good work of Miss Keller for generations to come. Through wills and other types of planned gifts, members of the Helen Keller Society can provide substantial support to AFB and, depending upon the type of gift, can provide for their own future, as well.

To become a member of the Helen Keller Society, we ask for a declaration of your intention to remember AFB with a gift that takes effect after your lifetime.

Bequests and other planned gifts, such as life insurance policies or gift annuities, have become an increasingly important source of AFB's growth—not only because of their financial benefits, but because they help us formulate AFB's long range plans. The size of the gift is not a factor of membership. The amount should be determined by your own charitable objectives, after making sure that you have provided for your family and loved ones. If you would like to learn more about AFB's Helen Keller Society, please call Melody Goodspeed, Associate Director of Development, at (212) 502-7614.

Bequests/Your Will

Bequests have been an important source of support throughout the history of the American Foundation for the Blind. Many loyal friends have found that a bequest is a relatively easy way to make a significant investment in the future of our mission to serve blind and visually impaired people.

There are several ways that you can make a bequest or gift through your will to AFB. The provision you choose will depend upon your circumstances, what type of property you wish to bequeath, and your other obligations. The kinds of bequests you can make are:

Specific Bequest: This is where you bequeath a specific sum of cash or other property for a program you name or for AFB's use where most needed. Here is suggested wording for making a specific bequest:

"I bequeath to the American Foundation for the Blind, Inc. of New York, NY the sum of $_________________, to be used by said corporation for its general purposes."

Residuary Bequest: In this case you bequeath a specified percentage or all of the assets remaining in your estate after other expenses and bequests have been paid.

Contingent Bequest: In this case you direct that a specific amount or a percentage of your estate be paid to AFB, only if your other beneficiary(ies) does not survive you.

Your attorney can provide the proper language for the bequest you choose.

To learn more about writing a will, please contact: Melody Goodspeed, Associate Director of Development, at (212) 502-7614.

Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA)

The Charitable Gift Annuity remains one of the most solid, reputable, and convenient ways for you to make a life income gift. The Charitable Gift Annuity has become very popular and AFB would like to take this opportunity to answer some common questions about this planned giving vehicle.

Do annuity payments rise and fall with the economy?

Annuity payments are part of a contract and remain fixed through the course of your life. Charitable Gift Annuities remain one of the best means of making a charitable gift that will provide you with fixed income for life!

Are Charitable Gift Annuities and Commercial Annuities the same thing?

Commercial Annuities and Charitable Gift Annuities operate on the same principal—an individual contracts with an organization to receive a fixed sum of money for their lifetime in return for a one-time investment. One benefit you enjoy with a Charitable Gift Annuity is that the initial investment qualifies as a "gift" with the IRS enabling you to enjoy an income tax deduction on the investment. Due to the fact that annuity return rates for Charitable Gift Annuities are slightly lower than return rates on Commercial Annuities, a portion of the Charitable Gift Annuity payments are tax free. Because of these tax deductions, you might find that a Charitable Gift Annuity is a better long term investment than a Commercial Annuity in spite of the lower rate of return. We would be happy to provide you with a Charitable Gift Annuity profile if you wish make a comparison.

Are Charitable Gift Annuity investments secure?

AFB's investment broker, TIAA-CREF, is insured by the New York State Insurance Commission—the strictest in the nation. Due to these stringent insurance policies you are guaranteed payment for life on your Charitable Gift Annuity.

AFB is a member of the National Committee on Planned Giving and subscribes to the ethics of this organization. These ethics require that AFB make certain that potential annuitants understand that they are making an irrevocable charitable gift in return for annuity payments, that they have the capacity to contract a Charitable Gift Annuity, and that the Charitable Gift Annuity has mutual benefit to them and to AFB.

If you would like to have AFB provide you with a personal Gift Annuity profile, or if you have questions about Charitable Gift Annuities, please call Melody Goodspeed, Associate Director of Development, at (212) 502-7614.

Other Planned Gifts

AFB can accept gifts of stock, insurance, IRAs, and other financial vehicles, in addition to tangible property with certain restrictions. Please consult your estate planner to see if these options benefit you and your loved ones.