Planned Giving Provides Critical Support in Fight Against Hunger

Henry Smogolski

Henry Smogolski and his late wife,

For Henry Smogolski, making a planned gift to the Food Depository just made sense.

"I looked at the operation and GCFD does so much good work," he says. "You can get a lot of bang for your buck."

Henry grew up in Chicago and started his career at a private savings and loan, which expanded to multiple branches and then went public. He and his wife, Isabel, started donating in 1996. Before Isabel passed away in 2010, the Smogolskis began making annual gifts to the Food Depository through a charitable lead trust, which passes along assets to the next generation while also donating to charity.

"To whom much is given, much is expected, and we wanted to give back to a good cause," he says.

At a time when over 800,000 people in Cook County need help putting food on their table, every gift to the Greater Chicago Food Depository is absolutely critical as we fight to end hunger.

The consistency of planned giving from families like the Smogolskis is especially important as the Food Depository continues to respond to increased need in the community. This stability enables the Food Depository to purchase more food, strengthen its network, invest in programs, and keep pace with the need by distributing the equivalent of 163,000 meals every day.

To learn more about making a planned gift to the Food Depository — or listing the Food Depository in your will, living trust, or life insurance policy — contact Anand Varghese at 773-648-4910 or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Greater Chicago Food Depository 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 give to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4100 West Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL 60632, or its successor thereto, ______________* [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 the Food Depository 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 the Food Depository 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 the Food Depository 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 the Food Depository where you agree to make a gift to the Food Depository 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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