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March 12 Letter

Date: March 12, 2021

To: The Classmates who haven't opted out of fundraising letters 

Via: The College email contact system

From: Nancy

The 50th year after graduation is a time when some of us consider a significant gift to the College.

Some of you may remember my time as class agent – sending out fundraising letters once or twice a year. I quit that job when I felt that you all could make a good guess as to what was in the envelope. But as we move into this new stage of life, I’d like to share how my giving to Swarthmore has changed.

You may be at a stage where you can consider giving from assets as opposed to income. My husband and I are lucky that our investments and expenses over the years have balanced so that we do have retirement assets that we feel we can donate now. I’ve made two such gifts without really affecting our finances:


  • One was to change the primary beneficiary on an IRA so that my husband will get 90% if I die, and Swarthmore will get the other 10%. 
  • The other was to take a sum from my retirement account and have it sent to the College as a qualified charitable contribution.” Anyone over 70 ½ may make such a contribution – and while the donation isn’t “tax-deductible”, the QCD is excluded from our taxable income. It can also help us meet a Required Minimum Distribution.

That first contribution is considered a “planned gift”, one that promises to benefit the College in the future. If you make such a gift before June 30, 2021, it will qualify for matching funds from the “50th Reunion Legacy Challenge” – from 10% of gifts up to $100,000 to $50,000 for gifts over $500,000. This 50th Reunion Legacy Challenge also has a participation component which makes it inclusive for everyone. If 50% of our class gives in this fiscal year, we'll unlock an additional $25,000 to support Swarthmore students in honor of our reunion. We're happy to announce that we recently reached 50% participation, unlocking these additional funds. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far!  

If you prefer to keep things simple and give cash, you might join me in making monthly donations and promising to continue those – i.e. make a “pledge”. I’ve had a monthly donation in place since 2016, and I realized recently I could easily turn it into a pledge. Multiplying the monthly amount by the 52 months between now and June 2025 turned a “comfortable” monthly contribution into a (for me) significant donation to support the College and boost our class’s “reunion giving’ total. Of course, “pledges” don’t need to include monthly payments – just your promise to pay by June 30, 2025. 

For any gift, you have the option to designate how you want the College to use the funds. Here are the College’s current priorities, and we plan to post suggestions from classmates as well.

If you have questions, especially about how you can make a planned gift or a pledge, please contact Renée P. Atkinson, Director of Gift Planning, at 610-328-8323 or giftplanning@swarthmore.edu.

All the best,

Nancy Shoemaker, ‘71

1971reunion@swarthmore.edu (to reach the committee with suggestions/comments)