Charitable gift planning helps you give back

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A Lincoln couple says they’ve chosen to give 20% of their estate back to charitable causes. Others are being encouraged to make charitable gift planning a priority to support greater Nebraska.

For Chuck and Janel Hibberd, deciding to do some charitable gift planning just made sense. “We both come from families of parents who are engaged in the community and active in philanthropy,” Chuck Hibberd said. “They set a tone for us in terms of the way we see the world.” Chuck and Janel have always been active in their communities. Chuck is an emeritus professor at UNL. He held several positions, including Dean of Nebraska Extension. Janel spent many years in public schools working in areas of early childhood education. “It’s all been about family and serving small communities,” Janel said.

When it came to planning the future, the couple wanted to give back. “As we were revisiting our estate plan, one of the things we realized was, our estate plan did not reflect our values in terms of philanthropy and supporting issues and projects that we are passionate about,” Chuck said. The couple decided to take another look at their will, and that was the beginning of the conversation. “What we really did next is, we said if we are going to do this, we started talking about what kinds of things were important to us, and what kinds of things reflect our values that we’d like to support longer term,” Chuck said.

One area they chose to support is early childhood development. “Our children are the future,” Janel said. “I always worked with kids. We both worked with kids and their creativity and passion in the way they problem-solve. We’ve just always invested in young minds.” 4-H Youth Development is another area where Chuck and Janel want their charitable giving to go, as they both have a fond appreciation for their hometown areas. “Janel was born in Loup City, and grew up in Chadron, Norfolk and Fremont,” Chuck said. “I grew up in Cozad and Lexington. So, the Nebraska Community Foundation was a logical place to think about as a way to invest some of our estate to help support rural communities across Nebraska.”

Chuck and Janel decided to use the tools available through NCF to help them make decisions. They approached the now-retired Director of Advancement and Gift Planning, Jim Gustafson to discuss those tools. “We talked about what is the nature of philanthropy, in terms of how you do the work,” Chuck said. “Is it a charitable remainder trust? Is it a charitable fund? What is the vehicle, and what choices do we have? Jim also really helped us think about the tax consequences of the choices we were making. He helped us understand that using our tax-deferred funds to support this charitable work was an advantage to us, so that was incredibly valuable.” NCF also helped Chuck and Janel find key experts to get the ball rolling. “As we got to the point where we knew what we wanted to do, we found people who knew how to do it,” Chuck said. “We didn’t have to worry about the legal language, so we could focus on our priorities and values, and what we wanted to accomplish.”

“It wasn’t hard, it just took some time, because we were very deliberate in what we were doing,” Janel said. “All along the way, we visited with our kids, and let them know what we were trying to do, and we updated them.” Now, Chuck and Janel Hibberd have a plan. “We decided to commit 20% of our estate to charity,” Chuck said. “That 20% will go to the Nebraska Community Foundation, and they will manage the Hibberd Charitable Fund for us. Once we are deceased, 50% of the annual earnings of that fund will stay with NCF for their priorities. 25% will go to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation to support 4-H Youth Development, and 25% will go to the 4-H Youth Foundation to support the early childhood development program at the University of Nebraska.”

Chuck and Janel hope others will consider charitable gift planning. “I think the big thing is to spend some time talking about what is important to you,” Chuck said. “Certainly, you want to take care of your family, and you want to take care of your kids. But, are there other priorities you want to focus on? Spend some time, dig in, and find some people who know about those areas who can help you learn more. If you actually do this, how would the money be used?” Both Chuck and Janel say Nebraska Community Foundation is a good place to get your questions answered and start the conversation.

Charitable gift planning allows people to provide for the future of their family and their community. Nebraska Community Foundation’s “5 to Thrive” campaign encourages Nebraskans to leave just 5% of their estate to local affiliated funds or charitable organizations benefiting their community. The website www.fivetothrivene.org has resources on tax-wise charitable gift planning, including gift planning calculators, stories of donor impact, and a free downloadable wills guide.