More than a Paycheck
by Jack Miller
Director of Gift Planning
The first rule of being a fundraiser is to stay behind the scenes. The second rule is to
ignore the first rule when your boss “requests” it.
Anyone who knows Landmarks’ president Arthur Ziegler knows that he is mission driven, yet a reserved person. So when I recently sought permission to publicize his estate commitment to
Landmarks, he declined.
I argued that it is important for people to know that he not only committed his life to our mission, but created two Named Funds and made Landmarks a beneficiary in his estate plan to ensure that the mission continues.
Arthur responded by telling me that he believes that the commitment of the staff is a more significant endorsement of our mission. He directed me to tell the story from that perspective, and to “start with your own commitment.”
Not being people of means, my wife and I initially could only make Landmarks a beneficiary of a term life insurance policy. Last year, we were able to convey land we obtained through an estate liquidation to create a Named Fund in memory of our parents. It was a way to recognize the most important people in our lives and to thank Landmarks for its role in saving the center of my faith community, St. Boniface Church in the East Street Valley on the North Side.
Architectural Historian Walter Kidney’s relationship with the organization dates back to 1970 when he did freelance work, but he didn’t join the staff until 1987.
“I’ve seen employees come and go,” says Walter, “but it does seem to me that Landmarks and certain people find each other and that the relationship in such cases will last.
“Not only does the relationship last, but it becomes more organic and better integrated than it may in larger and more departmentalized organizations where money and status are the only rewards.
“Thus, it eventually seemed to make sense for me to give my architectural and design history books to help create a betterrounded in-house research facility and give researchers from outside more reason to use our library.” Books weren’t Walter’s only gift.
On his 71st birthday, he made Landmarks the beneficiary of his retirement plan, and last year he established Landmarks’ first flexible deferred gift annuity that will provide him with lifetime income when he retires, and, as he likes to put it, “a gift to Landmarks when I expire.”
Executive Director Louise Sturgess made Landmarks a contingent beneficiary in her will. “A person’s will, in effect, is a document to show what they value most in life,” says Louise. “Next to my family, I value the place where I work and the city that has been home to my family for generations.
“By including Landmarks in my will, I am able to express the enthusiasm I have for my job and my passion for this city, since Landmarks’ mission is so closely connected with the health and enduring character of the city.
“It’s encouraging to think that my gift to Landmarks will help fund programs in the future that teach people to appreciate the architectural heritage of this region and value the positive role that historic preservation can play in the life of a city.
“Who knows, perhaps my greatgreat grandchildren someday will walk across the Smithfield Street Bridge on a ‘Downtown Dragons’ tour, or touch the massive stones of the Courthouse wall, or look up at the stained glass skylight of the Union Trust Building.”
CFO H. Phipps Hoffstot II understands that philosophy. His late mother, Barbara, was a founder of Landmarks and his father, Henry, still serves on the Board. Phipps is not only giving back through his service to Landmarks, but he annually makes a Heritage-Society level gift.
“We’re lucky to have a staff that not only believes in our mission,” says Arthur, “but has made provisions to continue it.”