My Decision to Give

Making Long Term Decisions that Matter

By Janie DeCelles for Live Oaks

When I finally got around to doing my estate planning, a project which I had procrastinated on for years (all while advising others to do so!). When it came time to deciding where to distribute my estate, charitable giving was going to be an important part of my planning.

I knew I wanted to leave my estate to institutions that would still be around some 30-40 years from now and would spend it wisely and thoughtfully. Having seen the transition of leadership at the Museum from 25-year veteran and friend Mick Hager to the very talented and capable Judy Gradwohl, I knew instinctively that theNAT was an organization which met my criteria.

Once I reached my decision, I made it known to Donna Raub, the Museum’s director of planned giving. I didn’t have any expectations for recognition of my plans, and was pleasantly surprised that I would become a member of the Museum’s Live Oaks Society and receive public recognition among a small group of peers. The Live Oaks group meets regularly, helping to reinforce our decision to provide future support for the Museum, while allowing us to enjoy special learning experiences offered by the institution’s deeply entrenched and experienced scientific staff. While I was comfortable with sharing my plans, the Museum also honors confidentiality for those who prefer to remain anonymous.

I never had any expectations of any “reward” for my decision but I have been rewarded far beyond what I ever imagined. It’s really nice to have this recognition during my lifetime for a gift that will go on forever.

To learn more about the Museum’s Live Oaks Society, please contact Donna Raub at 619.255.0314 or draub@sdnhm.org.