GUEST BLOG – Jennifer DiClemente of the American Cancer Society, Inc.: Charitable Planned Giving

Leaving a “planned gift” to charity is not always the first thing that comes to mind when you begin considering your estate plans. But utilizing this tool can be a powerful option for individuals, families and charities alike. These special gift arrangements often provide significant financial benefits such as increased income, lower income tax, bypass of capital gains, elimination of potential estate taxes, diversification of assets, and more—all while helping to support a cause you believe in.

Anyone can take part in a planned giving program by remembering a charity in their estate plans. When you hear the expression “planned giving,” you can consider the face of a youthful female, busy raising three children. This is the way one of our donors at the American Cancer Society has chosen to give back.

Jeanne’s family was devastated by the loss of her father to cancer in 2001.

Encouraged by a friend to consider participating in a Relay For Life event, it had a dramatic impact on her. “My heart turned around, and I just wanted to do something to stop the cancer,” she says. “Relay events inspire you to take action. This is the action I took.”

Jeanne and her husband Keith’s course of action was to honor her father in their will, with a bequest to the American Cancer Society. “I wanted a way to help, a way to give—a way to stop this disease. A will is such a simple thing to do, and something you should do. You never know when something might happen.” While Jeanne and Keith look forward to living long, fulfilling lives with their three young children, they are happy to be a part of working to ensure that their grandchildren never experience the heartache of cancer.

The lifesaving legacy that Jeanne and Keith created will help ACS fight this disease well into the future. Regardless of the cause you believe in most and ultimately choose to support, planned giving offers an opportunity for you to make an impact on future generations. Whether through a bequest in a will or trust, a beneficiary designation on an insurance policy or retirement account, planned gifts keep hope alive and enable charities to continue building a better future—ultimately creating a lasting legacy that lives on.

Jennifer DiClemente is the Director of Estate and Gift Planning at the American Cancer Society in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University in journalism and sociology, and a master’s degree from Baruch College in nonprofit management. For more information about Planned Giving at ACS, please contact her at 212-237-3808 or by email at You can also find more charitable giving resources at

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