The Society is able to offer services to over 1,500 individuals annually thanks to the generosity of individuals, community organizations, corporate and community foundations. Additionally over the years many individuals have named the Society as a beneficiary in their estate planning, which has enabled the Society to establish a long-term endowment and receive income from this Board Restricted fund.
Based on the audit from an outside auditing firm and the Society’s IRS Form 990 Tax Return, the Society significantly surpasses the percentage of funds going directly to Programs and Services as defined by the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and United Way organizations. Our ratio of expenses are:
Programs & Service Expenses : 78%
Fund-Raising Expenses: 12%
Management & General Expenses: 10%
Charitable Giving Tax Status
The Society is an IRS recognized 501 (c) 3 charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with all donations tax-deductible as allowed by law. For purposes of direct solicitations, the Society is registered to solicit in the states of Illinois and Missouri.
Government and United Way Funding
The Society receives no funds from the United Way and minimal funds from state government sources through contractual agreements for specific services. Contracted services to the Veterans Administration and School Districts for Technology, Orientation & Mobility and Special Education Services cover approximately 63% of the cost to provide these services. The Society receives no government grants and is a member of Community Health Charities of Kansas and Missouri for workplace giving.
The Society receives funds from an endowment which was set up by the founder of the organization in 1918. Over the years numerous individuals have remembered the Society through their estate planning and included the Society in their wills and trusts. Such gifts are added to the Endowment Fund for long-term funding of Society programs and services. Several long-term trusts were established by individuals with the Society as beneficiary.
Confidentiality of Donor Names
The Society does not rent or sell the names, addresses, phone number or any other personal information of anyone making a contribution to the Society with other organizations or outside charities. On a limited basis some names and addresses may be shared with other organizations for mailing purposes, with individuals having the option of limiting this as well.
The Society may utilize the name and address of donors to send newsletters, annual reports, program information, or solicitations from the Society. The Society will honor all requests from individuals who notify the Society they prefer not to be sent specific information or mail appeals from the Society.
Ways of Giving Support
Individuals may make a direct contribution to the Society as a way of showing their appreciation and support for the work we do. Some individuals make donations in this manner in recognition of all services being given to the individual. Some employers make matching contributions, enabling a person’s gift to be doubled.
A significant person in one’s life can be honored at their time of passing by making a donation in the loved ones memory. Additionally, some families specifically name the Society as the charity of choice for memorial donations.
The Society will send an acknowledgement to the family for all donations given in this manner, as well as a confirmation to the individual making the donation. The individual who has passed and the names of those giving this kind of gift are published in the Society’s quarterly newsletter and yearly program report.
Tributes and Honors
Some people prefer to honor an individual, family member, or couple through a contribution for a special person or occasion. Reasons for paying tribute in this manner include anniversary’s, birthdays, special events, good health, or just one special way of saying “thanks”.
All persons honored in this manner receive a notice from the Society that a gift was made in their name and who honored them in this manner. The person being honored, the occasion, and who made the donation are published in the Society’s quarterly newsletter and yearly program report.
Some individuals belong to other community groups who make donations to charitable organizations. The inclusion of the Society as a recipient of such contributions is also one way an individual can help support the Society. Many individuals encourage, and speak up on behalf of the Society in their local Lions, Kiwanis, or other groups to donate toward the work of the Society.
Wills and Bequests
Over the years many individuals have included the Society in their personal will as a gesture of past and future support. Such designation should be done through a person’s lawyer and may be for a specific dollar amount or percentage of an individuals’ estate.
If choosing to include the Society in this manner and make a difference for years to come you can name the Society in your will!
To provide for the Society to receive your support In terms of a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your net residual estate, if you have a Will, a simple amendment called a codicil should suffice.
The following is sample wording of a bequest codicil:
“I give to St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired, St. Louis, Missouri ______ dollars ($______) or _______% of my net residual estate.”
Please consult your attorney in preparing your will and estate plans since the Society is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advice. This information is accurate and of general character only.
Please contact David Ekin, President at 314-968-9000 if you wish to discuss planned giving opportunities.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A gift can be given to the Society by creating a charitable remainder trust. This type of trust will produce income for you during your lifetime and provide estate tax savings at the same time. If interested, consultation with your lawyer would be appropriate.
Gifts of Property, Securities, and Life Insurance
There are increasingly many opportunities to transfer property and other investments to the Society and receive tax benefits at the same time. Gifts f improved or unimproved real estate give an income tax deduction and estate tax savings. Donations of securities may be tax-deductable at full fair market value.
The Society may also be named as the owner and beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy, providing immediate tax deduction equal to any cash surrender value of the policy. Policy premiums may also be deductable.