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Partner in - Trust Conrad Dratwa

A Life Dedicated to the Spirit of Giving


Dog and ducksFor 25 years, Conrad Dratwa has used his ingenuity and resources to benefit Guide Dogs of America. Dratwa's interest in GDA began at his local Chamber of Commerce, where he met a woman raising a GDA puppy and asked her questions about the organization. Impressed with the work of GDA, Dratwa and his wife began making donations, but they wanted to do more. That's when they came up with the creative idea for a "Christmas in July" party at their home. Complete with a decorated Christmas tree and holiday fare, guests would surely feel the spirit of the season, but the couple wanted their guests to embrace the spirit of giving. At the request of their hosts, all of the 40 to 50 guests who attended each year brought the same gift - a donation to Guide Dogs of America. Some guests went above and beyond expectation by asking their companies to match their contribution. The party was a tradition for many years.

Although no longer hosting "Christmas in July" parties, Dratwa continues in his commitment to GDA as a donor. He attributes his generosity to his upbringing. "I try to give whatever I have and help GDA out as much as I can," he said. "I was brought up that way." Dratwa's generosity and his commitment to GDA led him to become a Partner In Trust. Thus, he will continue to give to the school through planned giving beyond his lifetime.

Conrad Dratwa's idea is just one of the ways that some of our donors have found to help raise funds for GDA beyond their personal means and to introduce more people and companies to the school. We're hoping that, by sharing stories such as his, it might spark a new idea of fundraising from our readers, which will benefit Guide Dogs of America's program.

For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Guide Dogs of America a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to International Guiding Eyes, Inc., dba: Guide Dogs of America located at 13445 Glenoaks Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342 [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to GDA or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GDA as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GDA as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and GDA where you agree to make a gift to GDA and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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