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How Does Planned Giving Work?

For many people, supporting survivors of domestic violence at SafeHouse Denver is something they do a few times a year. For a handful of committed donors, though, supporting survivors is an essential part of who they are, and leaving a legacy for SafeHouse Denver is important to them.

This is the story for Em (*name changed to preserve anonymity). When Em first started donating to SafeHouse in 1990, she would donate clothes or furniture, or modest amounts through her workplace giving opportunities. “I remember when my husband and I married, we combined two full households, so we had a lot to give,” Em recalled. “We were able to donate a mattress to a survivor who was moving into her own place, and I went out and bought her a new set of sheets to go along with it. From there, supporting SafeHouse became a commitment of ours that has continued throughout the years.”

In 2018, Em notified SafeHouse that she had included the agency in her estate plans. “When we were first crafting our estate plans, our attorney mentioned that we could set aside part of my IRA for charity, and that would allow me to remain under a certain threshold for estate taxes,” Em said. At the time, she elected to have the remainder of her IRA donate to three different charities, one of them being SafeHouse Denver.

But things changed, as they often do. One of the charities originally included in Em’s plans was in a community she no longer felt close to. Em was able to easily call her Financial Advisor to shift the majority of her IRA Remainder plans to SafeHouse. “It’s so easy to change!” she said, “And this is one way that I felt I could leave a larger chunk of money than I’d feel comfortable doing right now.”

The revocability of estate plans is something Em thinks everyone should know. “It is a comfort to know that if I were to need those funds for my own care, I could easily access them,” she said. If she doesn’t need them during her lifetime, “they’ll have an ongoing impact [on survivors of domestic violence].”

Em is passionate about supporting survivors. “I had good examples in my parents and grandparents; our kids know that we support SafeHouse Denver; and their kids even donate to causes important to them. It’s a family thing,” she explained. When Em began donating her Required Minimum Distribution to SafeHouse, she was able to increase her annual gift significantly without impacting her taxable income at all. This has allowed her to have an impact during her lifetime, and the remainder will support survivors in the future.

When asked about the future of SafeHouse Denver, Em hopes there is no longer a need for domestic violence services. “But that’s not likely going to be the reality,” she said. “So my hope is that the people continue to do the wonderful work. It’s always been very clear that the staff is passionate and cares.”

SafeHouse Denver’s work is possible thanks to Legacy of Hope members like Em. If you’d like to learn more about IRA Distribution and Remainder donations, the Legacy of Hope Society, or other ways to give through estate planning, save the date for our Virtual Planned Giving Lunch & Learn: Thursday, July 15! More information will follow, or you can reach out to Shannon to secure your spot now.

If you’ve named SafeHouse Denver in your estate plans, please let us know so we can properly thank you! Email Shannon at or call 303-302-6116.

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