Thoughts about Giving: Leaving a Legacy

by Kimberly Goodrich
Senior Director of Development

MSAA has spent a great deal of time in the last year considering the footprint we make in the MS space. We know there are many more people out there affected by multiple sclerosis than we are currently reaching. We know there are many more for whom a cooling vest, a walker, or an expensive MRI could make the difference in improving their lives. It is our mission to be a leading resource for the entire MS community. This has led to some big plans and some big changes.

Among the many opportunities MSAA will be sharing in the upcoming months will be our renewed efforts in legacy giving. This type of giving is often called “planned giving” because of the careful consideration taken when making such a gift, or “deferred giving” because of the gift’s timing. I find I prefer the term “legacy giving,” defined very simply as the transfer and expression of one’s values through a gift to a charity. It helps each of us to answer the question, “What will you leave behind?”

Legacy gifts are easily made and can be as simple as naming a charity as the beneficiary of your savings, checking, or retirement account; or listing a charity in your will. Language for including MSAA in a will or trust can be found on our website, These simple gifts assure that the organizations you care about and support today will continue to fulfill their missions.

Other, more complex gifts – such as charitable annuities – can be an integral part of one’s financial strategy. These allow a donor to significantly support an organization’s mission while continuing to draw an income that supports his or her own goals. MSAA recommends contacting your attorney or financial advisor for gifts of this nature.

Each of these types of legacy giving allows a meaningful way for individuals to express their values and transfer those values to the causes they care about most. These types of legacy giving also provide advantages for both the donor and the charity.

The benefits of legacy giving to an organization such as MSAA are vast. Numerous studies in the nonprofit arena have shown that legacy gifts assist organizations in achieving growth and sustainability. Our plans to expand our programs and provide even more MRIs, mobility aides, and educational programs, rely on enhancing and diversifying the support we receive.

Nearly everyone has the ability to make a legacy gift, and for many of us, it will be the largest gift we would ever be able to make. MSAA is excited to be launching this new effort… and providing those who value MSAA and our programs and services, the opportunity to share their values in a meaningful way. If you are interested in learning more about legacy giving, you may reach out to your attorney or financial advisor. You may also contact MSAA directly by emailing or calling (800) 532-7667, extension 101, so we may help you decide the best way to determine what you will leave behind.