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Planned Giving at Haven Hills

The Planned Giving Insights within this blog are provided through the generosity of our board member, Valerie J. Bowman, CPWA®, CAP®.   Ms. Bowman is not compensated for these writings and, like all of our board, is not compensated for her service on the board. Valerie Bowman is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® professional, a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, and President and CEO of Bowman Wealth Management, LLC.

Hello Valerie – thank you for taking the time to share your insights on planned giving. Can you tell us a little about what planned giving is?

Planned giving at Haven Hills is an area of fundraising that refers to several specific gift types that can be funded with cash, equity, or **property. In brief, a planned giving request is a solicitation of major gifts for Haven Hills, often contributed by an individual donor through a will, bequest, or trust. As a planned giving donor, one recognizes that causes that they care about will continue to exist, even after their passing. Donors are giving because they want to.  Haven Hills is asking because we need to help others.  We appreciate that donors are both kind enough to give now and curious about how they can give later.

**Note: Donors should refer to the Haven Hills gift acceptance police for details of the specific types of gifts this organization is prepared to receive. Contact the Development Department at 818-887-7481 ext. 121

In addition to sending the, much appreciated, cash donations directly to Haven Hills, what are some other ways for donors to give now?

Donor can establish a donor advised fund (DAF).  A donor advised fund is an irrevocable charitable giving account that can be established at a sponsoring organization like the charitable arm of a financial services firm or a community foundation.  Once the donor deposits assets into the account, they receive an immediate tax deduction based on the type of asset, and their AGI, adjusted gross income. In most cases, the donor can direct the fund administrator to grant funds from the DAF to a specific nonprofit organization like Haven Hills.

What are some of the planned giving option for donors?

Let me mention some general categories.  The specifics of each category should be discussed with one’s financial professionals.

One of the simplest ways to make a gift is through a will or trust

  • Simply name Haven Hills as a beneficiary in a will or trust.

Donors can also designate Haven Hills as the beneficiary of the following types of assets:

  • Retirement plans, financial account, or annuities

I’ve heard that Life Insurance can be donated as well. Is this correct?

Yes, often life insurance is no longer needed to cover the expenses for which it was originally purchased.  Donors can either gift a policy to Haven Hills by naming Haven Hills as the owner and/ or designate Haven Hills as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. The tax benefits for this type of donation are dependent on many factors and proper council should be sought.

Suppose a donor wants to give a gift of Real Estate

As part of the mission of Haven Hills is to provide shelter to victims of domestic violence, receiving real estate would certainly further that cause. However, we continue to invite donors to review the gift acceptance policy or contact Haven Hills to discuss the details of the property.   Different tax deductions are available dependent, among other things, on how the property is used by Haven Hills or if it is sold and proceeds are used to support the mission of Haven Hills. There are many details about the donation of real estate that will impact the donor’s tax deduction. This can be a great option for the donor as it may lead to potential avoidance of capital gains tax if donated to Haven Hills rather than selling the property prior to donating it. In some cases, a charitable trust which can also be utilized to sell the property. I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of speaking to a tax, legal or wealth management professional, and legal counsel to ensure that generous gifts of real estate provide the charitable impact the donor wants, the financial impact they are entitled to, and the freedom of Haven Hills to use the property without incurring any financial responsibilities.

What About Gift of One’s Home?

A donor and their attorney can establish what is called a gift of a remainder interest in a personal residence.  Basically, if you own your home you may irrevocably transfer title to Haven Hills, while retaining the right to use it during your lifetime, and continuing to pay the home’s expenses. After which time, Haven Hills will take ownership. The IRS has specific guidelines for the calculation of the tax deduction, and discourages debt-encumbered property, which may cause unwanted consequences for both the donor and Haven Hills.

Is appreciated stock something a donor could gift?

Yes, Amber.  I mentioned charitable trust earlier, which, in brief, is a legal document that crates a means to transfer assets to a charity and may be established as a charity itself. There are many different types of charitable trust, which we will discuss, in our next blog. Each has different tax advantages and serves a different purpose. But, to answer your question, yes, donors can donate appreciated securities to Haven Hills outright or through a trust. Again donors should refer to the gift acceptance policy for addition information and specific instructions on transfers through a brokerage account.

In conclusion, these potential legacy gifts will be a lasting tribute to the donor, create fond memories for their family about their generosity, and, of course, evoke eternal gratitude from Haven Hills and the victims of domestic violence.

Income tax deduction for your planned gifts are dependent on may factors including your AGI, adjusted gross income. Please consult your tax professional to determine the tax deduction and savings for your much-appreciated generosity in gifting one or more of the above-mentioned gifts.

**Including language in your will about your desire to give is a simple process.

However, the hardest part of this delayed giving is perhaps gathering all family members and sharing your desire to leave a legacy to a charitable organization, upon your passing.

Providing for the future of a charity does not have to be to the exclusion of your heirs. If you so choose, there are many ways to provide for both, the details of which will be discussed in the next blog. Regardless of how you choose to give, Haven Hills is available to help you decide which giving vehicle best suits your needs and the needs of your family.

“I can testify that it is nearly always easier to make $1,000,000 honestly than to dispose of wisely” -Julius Rosenwald-

Ms. Bowman is a resident of California by way of Chicago, a city that certainly has its share of homelessness. However, upon moving to California she was stunned by an even heightened level of homelessness that appears to be California’s new normal. According to Los Angeles City Women’s Needs Assessment, (2019) 36% of homeless women were victims of domestic violence.  Ms. Bowman has both written and spoken about homelessness. She is proud to be part of an organization that provides safety, shelter, and support to victims of domestic violence and proud to serve on the Haven Hills Board.

 The information provided is meant to be general, and educational in nature. For specifics of your situation, please consult with your tax, legal, or financial professional, to determine the impact on your estate, gift and income taxes.

Next: We strive to support the unique needs of ALL survivors we serve

Recent posts

  • Homelessness & DV


    Do you consider domestic violence a cause to homelessness in the United States? You may be surprised to learn that domestic violence is a common factor in homelessness for single adults and families. It decreases job stability, threatens financial stability, and interferes with the victim’s abilities to form supportive relationships to escape the abuse. In many cases, domestic violence is the immediate
    cause of their homelessness, and the two are tightly interwoven.


    In Los Angeles, domestic violence (DV) and homelessness are strongly correlated as
    evidenced by the 2019 Homeless Count report published by Los Angeles Homeless
    Services Agency (LAHSA). In Los Angeles County, there was a 28% increase among
    individuals/families who were homeless due to fleeing a domestic violence situation.
    The City of Los Angeles reported a 42% increase among homeless individuals/families reporting either current incidences or experience of DV. According to the National LowIncome Housing Coalition, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in LA is $1,670; requiring an annual income of $66,520 or $31.98 per hour; a household would need three minimum wage job earners to afford such rent. These staggering figures make it extremely difficult for low-income individuals and families to secure and maintain affordable housing, especially for DV survivors during COVID-19. Domestic Violence survivors face unique barriers regarding safety, confidentiality, and dealing with trauma.
    When victims do flee, many times from a lethal incident, they flee to domestic violence
    Emergency Shelters or fall into homelessness when these resources are not available.
    It comes down to this – when victims make the hard decision to leave and reach out for
    help, they must be able to find safety and support if they are to escape domestic
    violence.


    Serving domestic violence survivors begins with availability and access to safe, physical
    spaces to support survivors and their children. In fact, the immediate need of a survivor
    fleeing domestic violence is safety. Some survivors may be able to safely stay in their
    own home with some additional financial support through rental assistance while others
    may require a stay in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program before reentering their own independent housing. 


    To help our clients find safe housing, Haven Hills has Housing Navigators. Our Housing
    Navigators are case managers that assesses, coordinate and monitor housing plans for
    clients in all three of our programs. Their job is to advocate with landlords, homeless
    service providers and housing partners to find clients permanent and stable housing
    once they leave our facilities.

    Our housing efforts include our two shelter programs (Crisis and Transitional Housing) and our Housing First program which assist clients in securing safe, permanent, and affordable housing upon exit from our shelters and individuals and families in the community. Since 2019, we have provided over $1million dollars ($1,026,645) to 243 households, including 125 families and 118 single individuals (243 adults / 170 children). In addition, 42 clients received financial support for education, materials,
    household utilities and other flexible funding to support their housing efforts. Clients
    report the support has changed their lives and helped them feel more confident when
    transitioning out of our shelters, allowing them to focus on employment or educational
    aspirations to maintain their housing upon exit. The greatest benefit is the flexible,
    financial assistance to help with deposits, utilities, and dealing with emergency costs.
    Short-term financial assistance to secure and maintain housing can change the
    trajectory of a family in so many ways – leading them to live safe, healthy, and happy
    lives; and most importantly ending the cycle of violence. Effectiveness at Haven Hills
    has been demonstrated mainly by placement of survivors in safe, permanent housing
    without the abuser; there has been a notable increase with the implementation of this
    program since 2018.


    Much like healing trauma and abuse, finding affordable, safe housing is crucial to
    helping survivors reduce the possibility of future violence. Research indicates that
    families that receive a housing subsidy after exiting homelessness are far less likely to
    experience interpersonal violence than those that do not. Having an affordable place to
    call home is crucial for this population, to both reduce their risk of homelessness as well
    as the possibility of future violence.


    We urge victims to leave their abusers, we even go so far as to tell them they must
    leave, yet where should they go? Survivors are entitled to a clear pathway to housing
    that will help them get back on the road to self-sufficiency.

  • Keep Breathing

    Usually, when you experience any form of abuse from a partner — whether that be physical, psychological, financial, or sexual abuse, people will encourage you to disconnect from your abuser. This can include stopping all communication, and seeking police support if appropriate.

    However, with children, the process of separation is more complex and often means you need to remain in contact with the other party, despite harm that happened within the relationship. Having a child with an abuser is an unbreakable bond that you will share for the rest of your life.

    It can be hard to have your own identity when you are struggling and trying to provide a safe place for yourself and your children. Like our survivor Megan who shared her struggle:

    I take deep breaths. I have felt suffocated for years. Tried to catch my breath by leaving “him”. But I couldn’t breathe as they put the handcuffs on me for “abusing him” when I had been the one abused. I couldn’t breathe when they handed me the restraining order to not come within 100 yards of my kids because I was a “danger” to them. I couldn’t breathe in every court hearing being told I was a bad parent. I couldn’t breathe as I slept in the truck. I was able to take small breaths when I was able to fight the negatives and get them back. I could take deep breaths as I finally had them in my arms after two months of nothing. My breath was taken again when they pulled my three month old from my arms because of both of “them”. I couldn’t breathe when I sat in that room for 1 hour as not one but TWO social workers watched my every move as I “visited” my kids. I couldn’t breathe when the ER doctor told me I was pregnant. Short breaths and reflect and the choices I am making. Deep breaths as I secured my income and escaped the abuse, finding us a safe home. Full breaths when I was finally told I could have my kids back after a year and a half. Slow breathing as “he” disappeared for months leaving me to do it all, feeding them, loving them through their own pains and confusion. And again, small breathes as he returns and threatens to take them again because I decided to fight for “him” to pitch in for their survival. Preparing myself to deal with the ups and downs of co-parenting with an abuser. Life can be breathtaking in both ways. But the point is to Keep Breathing. I will continue to have my kids be my oxygen.♥

    Client’s name withheld

    Don’t forget to nurture your own identity and life. It may be difficult, it is important to build a broader identity outside parenthood and your relationship, to ensure you have a range of identities to draw solace from.

    Work, friendships, hobbies, and other relationships can be sources of support and meaning and give you something to feel positive about at times when the co-parenting relationship feels particularly fraught.

    For information on how to deal with the effects of trauma or to get help, please visit our website at havenhills.org.

  • Grit

    One of the many barriers that survivors face when trying to leave an abusive relationship is a lack of education or job readiness. Often, this inability to support themselves keeps survivors in abusive relationships.

    Knowing this, in 2020 Haven Hills partnered with the American Aerospace Technical Academy to create a multi-sector blueprint to highlight meaningful workforce pathways combined with trauma-informed practices for survivors of domestic violence. We focused on a multi-sector approach to create pathways out of poverty, dependence, and violence through training in non-destructive testing, GED attainment, job placement, and wrap-around support services such as case management, life skills, and support groups to help manage work stress for survivors. Our hope was to help participants build stability through increased workforce readiness, skill acquisition and confidence building.

    It is never easy to take on a new career or to consider a new career at any age and it was especially important that we prepare participants for the added workload and scheduling management required to accommodate virtual classes from 5pm to 10pm, Monday through Friday during the 16-week program.

    We are honored to report that six survivors successfully completed the first Workforce Development Program class! We are challenged to find the perfect word that encompasses the six graduates and their sheer determination to complete this program. The only word that comes to mind is “Grit”. This word is defined by the perseverance, resiliency, and the hard work to reach a goal over a long period of time and each of these survivors have all truly encompassed what it means to be “gritty”.

    The challenges these survivors had were many, and they met them with determination and the hope of building a better life for themselves and their children. They had to learn new material virtually through a pandemic, which certainly had its own set of challenges. They had to re-learn how to be in school. They balanced being a single mother, working to provide for their family, while healing from their trauma. And yet, despite all of that, they succeeded. It was inspiring and an honor to witness their growth throughout this program.

    All of us at Haven Hills believe this project has the potential to change systems and conditions for domestic violence survivors that traditional workforce strategies do not provide.  We look forward to implementing the best practices learned through this pilot and cultivate relationships with additional training programs to provide more opportunities for survivors in our care.  We also hope to better understand both the participants’ individual capacity for success within this context and our ability to provide the wrap-around services and follow-up required for long-term and sustained participant success.