"I am leaving a bequest to Cal Shakes because I believe in its mission. I want to assist in providing more educational opportunities through Cal Shakes’ Artistic Learning Program. I have seen and heard firsthand about the interest in theater and critical thinking opportunities that students gain once Artistic Learning comes to underserved schools.”
—Longtime subscriber and donor Shelly Osborne
The long-term viability of a performing arts company depends on vision—both the artistic and financial vision of its leaders, and the philanthropic vision of its donors. Legacy gifts such as bequests, life insurance, and charitable trusts play a critical role in the long-term fiscal stability of Cal Shakes. Such future-focused gifts allow us to plan with the knowledge that our work will continue to be supported well beyond the final curtain call of a performance season.
Naming Cal Shakes as a beneficiary in your will is one of the easiest ways to support the theater you love while also providing for family and other interests. And bequests often allow donors to make a more significant gift than may have otherwise been possible. A bequest can be for a specific dollar amount or an asset such as stock, or a percentage of your estate, or the remainder of your estate after other concerns have been met.
Additionally, your gift may be designated to the Moscone Permanent Endowment—in support of Arts Education, Facilities Improvements, Artistic Innovation, or general operating needs. Just be sure that your will or beneficiary statement stipulates that the gift is to be “added to the Moscone Permanent Endowment for the California Shakespeare Theater.” Legacy gifts not specifically designated for the Moscone Endowment will be added to the Board Designated Endowment, a reserve fund from which the Board can draw for special projects.
There are a variety of ways to include Cal Shakes in your estate plans and each brings benefits that are unique to your personal financial situation. A few of the most common estate planning gifts are outlined below. Whatever you decide, we encourage you to discuss your plans with a trusted attorney or financial advisor. If you do not have a professional to call upon, the members of our Professional Advisory Council stand ready to answer your questions.
Gifts to the Moscone Endowment
The Moscone Permanent Endowment for the California Shakespeare Theater was established to handle gifts restricted to Arts Education, Facilities Improvements, Artistic Innovation, or general operating support. Anyone who wishes to add to this endowment needs to include the name of the Moscone Endowment in their bequest language, along with the tax ID number for the California Shakespeare Theater.
Dylan Collins is a retired high school English teacher who loves going to the theater, but has a particular fondness of Cal Shakes’ Artistic Learning outreach to local schools. A widower with four grown children, Mr. Collins wanted to leave a legacy to the community in which he lived and worked. As such, he has drafted a will that designates 25 percent of his estate to Cal Shakes, and restricted to the Moscone Permanent Endowment to support arts education. In this way, he is able to leave a lasting legacy that ensures that students for generations to come will benefit from this dynamic program that brings students, teachers, and artists together in the classroom, after school, and at the theater.
Bequests for Specific Purposes
If you would like to honor a family member, a special person or provide support for a specific program or activity, you can consider designating your bequest specifically for that purpose. We encourage you to contact us before creating a restricted endowment as there may be specific guidelines governing the use of these types of funds. We will work with you to ensure that your gift is best used for its intended purpose.
Family and friends of Professor James Knight hoped to honor him upon his retirement from the university drama department. After talking with our development staff, they established the James Knight Endowment in support of emerging artists and their works. The fund was established with an initial gift of $250,000 and allows others to add to it over time. Income from this endowed fund will be used to support emerging artists and honor Prof. Knight well into the future.
Bequests for Unrestricted Purposes
Unrestricted gifts are used for the greatest need at the time as determined by the Board of Directors. A general unrestricted bequest is especially valued by us because of its flexibility. Unrestricted gifts will be added to the Board Designated Endowment for the California Shakespeare Theater and held unless and until the Board determines that there is an important capital or other special project need.
Bequests Other than Gifts of Cash or Stock
Life Insurance Policies
As life’s circumstances change, many people find they have fully-paid life insurance policies that are no longer necessary. There are two ways to contribute the assets of a life insurance policy to Cal Shakes. You may choose to name Cal Shakes as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of the policy, in which case you can claim the cash surrender value as a charitable deduction. If you chose instead to name Cal Shakes or the Moscone Endowment as beneficiary but not owner of the policy, the gift may qualify for an estate tax charitable deduction.
Gladys Palmer is the named beneficiary of her husband’s life insurance policy. Mr. Palmer has named Cal Shakes as the secondary beneficiary, should his wife predecease him. Similarly, Charles and Deborah Ross were surprised to learn that a forgotten about life insurance policy could be transferred to Cal Shakes. By doing so, they were able to make a much larger gift than they had previously thought.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
A charitable remainder trust allows a donor to transfer assets to a separately managed trust that will provide named beneficiaries with income for life or a designated number of years; when the trust is terminated, Cal Shakes or the Moscone Endowment become the beneficiary of the trust’s assets. Charitable remainder trusts are often funded with appreciated assets, such as stocks. When these assets are transferred to a charitable remainder trust, they are not subject to capital gains taxes. Donors to a charitable remainder trust may also receive a charitable tax deduction for a portion of the gift when the trust is established.
Bill and Rebecca Matthews are longtime season ticket subscribers with a special interest in supporting Cal Shakes’ artistic collaborations with community organizations. They are interested in make a substantial gift to Cal Shakes, but also want to receive income from their appreciated stock. The Matthews decide to transfer $1,000,000 in stock to a charitable remainder unitrust that will pay them 5% annually for the remainder of their lives. The stock they are going to transfer was acquired as options when Ms. Matthews worked for a high tech company and would be subject to significant capital gains taxes. By transferring the stock directly to a charitable remainder trust, the Matthews are able to capitalize on the full fair-market value of the stock without paying tax on the capital gains.
Donor Advised and Designated Funds
A donor advised fund is a good option for Cal Shakes supporters who are looking to reduce their tax liability in any given year, but who want to decide over time how best direct their charitable giving. Individuals who establish either a donor advised fund or a designated fund are eligible for a charitable deduction in the year the fund is established but they may direct all or a portion of the fund to be dispersed at a later date to either Cal Shakes or the Moscone Endowment. The difference between these two funds is the donor advised fund makes grants at the donor’s request to organizations, which may change over time. A designated fund identifies the organization(s) that will receive grants at the time the fund is established. Cal Shakes does not manage these funds; however, several of our donors have established these types of funds through the East Bay Community Foundation and The San Francisco Foundation.
Yolanda Perez has many interests at Cal Shakes—from supporting the capital campaign to renewing her annual subscription. For tax reasons, her financial advisor has recommended that she gift $500,000 in appreciated stock to her favorite charitable organizations this year. Ms. Perez likes to use her giving as challenge grants for special projects and wants the flexibility of deciding how to support the causes she cares most about. To meet her charitable giving and tax goals, she decides to establish a donor advised fund at with the East Bay Community Foundation, and will direct grants from the fund to Cal Shakes in order to meet her wide range of interests over time.
If you have already included California Shakespeare Theater in your estate plans, please let us know by calling us or filling out our estate intention form. We would like thank you for your generosity and welcome you as a member of the Cal Shakes Legacy Circle.