I Want to Help You Plan Your Legacy for Liberty

Discussions of Planned Giving can sometimes sound as sterile as a sit-down with your tax advisor or as agonizing as your third root canal – but it really shouldn’t be that way!

When you think deeply about Planned Giving, you’re actually crafting personal answers to the biggest of questions:

“What legacy do I want to leave the world?”

“How can the resources I’ve created be deployed to provide hope and opportunity for those who need it most?”

“What do I want to teach my children about philanthropy, liberty, and the principles that lead to human flourishing?

It’s Time for A Plan

I had never addressed these questions until March 2017 when my doctor warned that I was losing my battle with cancer. “You may be up against the firing squad,” he told me, “Stephanie, you shouldn’t neglect making plans regarding your will.”

Fortunately, my doctor was wrong about whether I’d beat cancer. (Take that cancer!)  But he was right about the wisdom of getting plans in order and creating a lasting legacy before it’s too late.

My husband Brad and I are so glad we put in the time to make arrangements for after we’re gone. The process even guided me into a change of career. I had worked at Atlas Network for more than a decade, doing very rewarding work to strengthen the worldwide freedom movement. But after cancer, I joined DonorsTrust to help other liberty-minded folks plan out their legacy in a thoughtful and pro-freedom way.

Just this summer, Brad and I updated our plans.  Brad and I have set up our legacy to include a fifth, non-human children…no, not our dog Scooby  – our charitable priorities!

Leave A Legacy

History shows what happens when donors when donors fail to define their charitable goes. See the examples of Ford, Rockefeller, and others failed to ensure their wealth would be used after their death in alignment with their free-market values. Many private foundations have been hijacked by those who don’t appreciate – and sometimes actively work against – free enterprise and limited government.

If you’re like me and are being strategic in supporting liberty-minded groups during your lifetime, I need to ask: why would you neglect making plans for the groups dearest to your heart for after you are gone?

As you can tell, I am passionate about creating a community of people who embrace legacy planning, to be truly successful in their philanthropy. Will you join me in this?

A Partner for Planning

But you don’t have to do it alone! My colleagues and I at DonorsTrust have created new materials to make your own legacy planning easier.

  • In the coming weeks, we will soon mail current clients a pamphlet about Planned Giving to get you started in your thinking on this topic.
  • We’ll also shortly launch a new planned giving website to help you take action. The site is full of resources to help you better understand your options in planned giving and estate planning. You can discover tax-advantaged strategies to fund your legacy plans; the best approach will depend on the specifics of your unique situation. Watch for an email soon announcing the launch of the site.
  • For those ready to explore the nitty-gritty of Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Lead Trusts or even more detailed plans for your legacy, download our detailed Legacy Planning prospectus. You will see how you can meet your income needs during your lifetime while making a gift today to fund your legacy plans. Are you wondering what to do with illiquid assets that your favorite charities are unprepared to handle? The prospectus explains attractive options for partnering with DonorsTrust to achieve your goals.

Along the way, you will likely want to chat with a real person who can help you navigate what might seem like a daunting challenge. That’s me! Please email me today to set up a time for a phone call.

Or, if you’re ready to build a DonorsTrust donor-advised fund into your estate plan now, download a Bequest Account Application to set up your fund, which would be funded upon your death. As part of the application, you’ll create a donor intent statement to govern how resources you leave to the fund at DonorsTrust will ultimately be spent. You can amend this form at any time during your lifetime; you can designate a successor to advise the account; or you can ask DonorsTrust to execute your plan. There are lots of options that all reflect our commitment to serving your donor intent.

I am here at DonorsTrust, and I look forward to helping you achieve your legacy for liberty. Let’s get started.


  • Stephanie G. Lips

    Stephanie Giovanetti Lips joined DonorsTrust in 2018 as a philanthropy advisor with a general focus on planned giving. Before joining DonorsTrust, Stephanie led the events department at Atlas Network, leading its international expansion to organize annual events in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. She also took on major gift officer responsibilities and headed up its planned giving program. Stephanie has consulted on events and fundraising for organizations such as The American Spectator, the Future of Freedom Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors and Johnson and Johnson. Stephanie attended Marymount University and has a B.A. in English Literature. When not working for DonorsTrust or mentoring think tank leaders from within the Atlas Network or speaking on topics close to her heart, like planned giving, Stephanie loves listening to the giggles of her children and the panting of her dog, Scooby Doo.

    View all posts

Start Protecting Your Intent Today.

Are you interested in giving to nonprofits that align with your conservative or libertarian values? If so, consider opening a simple, secure, tax-advantaged giving account with DonorsTrust.