Creating a Lasting Legacy

Ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed in school and life is Way to Grow’s vision—and the urgent calling that compels our work each and every day with children and parents, one child and one family at a time. With your help, Way to Grow can reach more children who are at risk of falling behind in their education, and put them on a path to fulfilling their potential in life.

You believe in Way to Grow’s mission to ensure that children are born healthy, stay healthy and are ready for school. You may already support Way to Grow financially through an annual gift (thank you!).

To continue supporting our evidence- based home visiting services long into the future, those who believe in our mission and vision are encouraged to consider including Way to Grow for a gift in your will or other financial vehicle that suits your situation. This can be rewarding for you, knowing your values will endure beyond your own lifetime, and give you peace of mind, knowing your plans are in place.

Way to Grow has established the Shine Legacy Society to honor those with foresight who include Way to Grow in their plans, as well as a new permanent endowment fund to help fuel our sustainability long into the future. For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Shine Legacy Society

For over 30 years, Way to Grow has walked alongside families in Minneapolis and surrounding communities through early childhood education to ensure that children are born healthy, stay healthy and are prepared for school. Way to Grow believes that every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed in school and life, and equips parents to be their child’s foremost educator.

The Shine Legacy Society honors those who have chosen to support the mission of Way to Grow by including a gift in their will, trust or other estate planning document to ensure that Way to Grow’s vital work will continue long into the future. All are welcome and qualify for membership by:

  • including Way to Grow for a gift in a will or revocable trust
  • making Way to Grow a beneficiary of a retirement plan, IRA, 401(k), or 403(b)
  • naming Way to Grow as a beneficiary of life insurance policy proceeds (or directly donating a life insurance policy to Way to Grow)
  • establishing a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust that benefits Way to Grow
  • transferring real estate to Way to Grow outright or through life estate

Estate planning not only allows you to provide for loved ones after your life, but offers an opportunity to provide support to the charitable organizations that are dear to you. Leaving a gift in your will or other provision helps ensure that Way to Grow can provide life-changing home visiting services and early childhood education to families who need it most, long into the future. Your legacy gift may bring useful tax advantages and allow you to transfer assets in a tax-efficient manner. More importantly, you can receive the satisfaction of knowing that your legacy will empower parents and children long after your lifetime.

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Creating a Lasting Tribute Through an Endowment Fund

Donors may establish a Named Endowment Fund that becomes a lasting source of funding for Way to Grow. These permanent funds may be named in honor of the donors or can serve as a tribute or memorial to their loved ones. An endowment fund may also be established during one’s lifetime and supplemented through an estate gift.

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Gifting Shares of Stock

Donating shares of stock that you have held for one year or longer, and that have grown in value, can provide you with several tax benefits while supporting Way to Grow’s mission.

By transferring shares directly to Way to Grow (rather than selling them), you avoid paying capital gains taxes on the growth in the shares. Way to Grow receives the full value of the stock tax free and puts 100% of your gift to work to support our mission.  Second, you may deduct the full fair market value of the shares as valued on the date of your gift, reducing your tax burden. Third, if a particular stock has risen sharply in value, donating shares to Way to Grow may help re-balance your holdings.

Most importantly, your gift will help ensure that children are born healthy, stay healthy, and are prepared for school. We hope you’ll join others in discovering the power of donating stock to Way to Grow.

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Including Way to Grow in Your Will or Trust

Leaving a gift in your Will for Way to Grow is a simple but satisfying way to perpetuate your values and leave a lasting legacy to support our work in years to come. Gifts may be unrestricted or may be designated for our endowment fund.  The following language is suggested:

I hereby give and devise to Way to Grow, a non-profit organization located at 210 Irving Avenue North, Suite 100, Minneapolis, Minnesota  55405

Following this, state the amount of the gift to Way to Grow. This can be expressed as a percentage of the estate, as a particular amount, or the residue (remainder) of the estate may be directed after other bequests are fulfilled. Designating a percentage for Way to Grow allows your gift to grow as your estate grows.

…as an unrestricted gift to be used at the discretion of the CEO and Board of Directors.


 …to be held and invested by Way to Grow as part of its endowment fund.

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Gifts from IRAs

Did you know that you can use your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as a very tax-efficient source for making gifts to Way to Grow during your life and afterward?  More and more people are discovering the power of their IRAs to fulfill heartfelt gifts to beloved charities.

The un-taxed funds accumulating in your IRA are growing tax free.  If you withdraw them or leave them to your heirs, they are very highly taxed, leaving you and your heirs with less.  (There are better assets to leave to heirs, such as life insurance proceeds.)  But if you direct your IRA to make charitable gifts on your behalf, 100% of the funds go to charity and are never taxed to you, allowing you to give more.

While those age 72 and older aren’t required in 2021 to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their IRAs due to the CARES Act, if you are age 70½ or older, you may still make charitable gifts from your IRA.  Why do so? IRA gifts, called Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), use pre-tax dollars to fulfill gifts or pledges to charity, tapping funds already tucked away, rather than draining your checkbook or credit card.  What better way to optimize your giving!  In fact, gifts of up to $100,000 per person do bypass your federal tax return and are not taxed as income nor deducted as gifts.

This presents an amazing opportunity for those with well-funded IRAs to put these funds to charitable use now and to support Way to Grow’s life-changing efforts with children and families in our community.  What could be more meaningful than brighter futures for all children in our community?

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Life Insurance Policies

If you own a life insurance policy that no longer serves the purpose for which it was purchased, and you don’t wish to lose its value by allowing it to lapse, you may wish to consider donating the life insurance policy to Way to Grow in return for a tax deduction in the year of the gift.  You receive the satisfaction of supporting children and families while removing an unneeded asset from your estate.

How does this work?   First, you may contribute an existing life insurance policy by assigning all incidents of ownership to Way to Grow by naming Way to Grow both as owner and beneficiary of the policy.  In this instance, you transfer ownership of the policy to Way to Grow and receive a tax deduction for the value of the policy (typically determined to be the greater of the interpolated terminal reserve (ITR) value or premiums plus earnings less reasonable costs (PERC) value).

Second, you may apply for a new policy on your own life, with Way to Grow named as the original policy owner and beneficiary, subject to state insurance interest laws.

In both cases, gifts of life insurance policies are accepted if Way to Grow is named both owner and beneficiary of 100% of the policy.  If premiums are ongoing, the donor agrees to cover the annual premiums and receives a tax deduction for premiums paid.  Such policies may also be converted to paid up status by reducing the value of the future death benefit.

Third, a donor may name Way to Grow as beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy that he or she continues to own.  Because it remains a revocable gift, neither the policy value nor premiums are tax deductible, but Way to Grow will be thankful to be included for a future gift.

For more information, please contact Kim Bowman at 612.874.4740.

Why They Give

Laura Bohlander

“I love that Way to Grow Family Educators meet regularly with families in their homes and help parents create an environment for learning over the course of several years, extending into third grade,” says Laura. “This is life changing for many families. I also know that Way to Grow is fiscally responsible with every dollar under CEO Carolyn Smallwood’s determined leadership.”

Monica Little & Mark Abeln

 Monica first came across Way to Grow when Little & Company, the design and branding agency she founded, sought to establish an ongoing pro-bono relationship with a nonprofit. She was energized by Dr. Art Rolnick’s conviction that early childhood education is the best way to make a profound and lasting difference in a community, and Way to Grow not only aligned with the firm’s values, “they also had a clear strategic plan, great leadership, and a strong track record showing significant impact,” recalls Monica.

Marilyn Broussard

“I see education as a springboard out of poverty,” says Marilyn. “When children are behind in kindergarten and not reading by third grade, they often have a difficult time in high school.” She continues, “Parents need to have aspirations for their children to succeed in school. That is why the work of Way to Grow is so important—helping parents and teaching them to be their child’s primary educator.”

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