Leaving a Charitable Legacy

Leave 10 KitsapIndividuals in the Kitsap area are thinking about the future of their assets. Of course, many will leave their wealth to their children. However, another wonderful way to leave assets to future generations is through charitable giving.

According to Carol Kowalski, a member of the Leave 10 Community Outreach Committee, much of Kitsap County includes older individuals. A 2017 “Kitsap Area Transfer of Wealth” study projected that there would be 70,000 citizens over the age of 60 in 2020. The study also estimated that $12 billion of the $93.6 billion in Kitsap County would be reallocated to the next generation through wills and estates.

Barbara and David Swartling
Barbara and David Swartling

“As baby boomers pass, (their wealth) moves to their heirs,” says Stephanie George, interim president and CEO of the Kitsap Community Foundation. “There is an opportunity in this transfer to invest in the community, and this represents a tremendous amount of potential for community investment, for public sector benefit, that we’ve never really thought formally about before.”

With the Leave 10 Kitsap movement, Kitsap County residents can invest their final assets into the community. Leave 10 Kitsap is a charity cooperation dedicated to the concept of people leaving at least 10 percent of their wealth to charitable organizations. Organizations throughout Kitsap have come together to benefit the community with this concept. The “Kitsap Area Transfer of Wealth” study shows that with the projected 10 percent of wealth from wills and estates, $1.2 billion would be raised. Additionally, if this were invested, $70 million could be given in grants each year.

Leave 10 KitsapKowalski calls the Leave 10 Kitsap movement “a way for local Kitsap residents to reflect and commit to making a lasting impact in our local community through the nonprofit sector while sharing their values” and says that “all these tools create sustainability for a healthier community.” Individuals can invest in the organizations they love, even after they’re gone.

Leave 10 KitsapDorothea Lintz, who lived in Port Orchard for around 50 years, is a great example of this concept. Lintz spent years working in charitable organizations. Similar to Leave 10 Kitsap, Lintz ensured that her wealth will go to a worthy cause.

Lintz was on the board of the Dispute Resolution Center, Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center and the Kitsap Community Foundation. In addition to her leadership work, she donated financially to charity through a Charitable Remainder Unit Trust.

“That’s where you take some funds that you have or property that you have,” she explains. “It’s structured so that … unless the market does something really bad, whatever you put in in value should still be there when you pass away. Then, that money goes to a charity or charities.”

Leave 10 KitsapBarbara and David Swartling are also leaving a charitable legacy on Bainbridge Island. David Swartling says, “Our whole lives we believed in philanthropy and the importance of community.”

They have helped a range of charities, from religiously based groups to individuals (such as sponsoring a young woman’s college education). Even now, they take the time to volunteer at a food bank. “Philosophically, we believe that it’s our responsibility to give to the community,” Swartling explains.

In addition to their past and current charitable work, the Swartlings are prepared for future charity.

“We have a will, and it’s more than 10 percent of our estate that is going to go to charitable organizations,” Swartling says. Even when they are unable to personally volunteer with the organizations that they love, the couple will still be able to provide financial support to these wonderful groups.

Leave 10 KitsapLike the work of Lintz and the Swartlings, the Leave 10 Kitsap movement provides a way to benefit the future of the community. “This is an opportunity that everyone has,” George says. Anyone can offer a charitable donation, leave part of their wealth to the community and invest in the organizations that are important to them.

“Everybody has something,” Kowalski says. “Everybody has a way that you can give $1. There’s a way to do it.” Anyone can belong to the Leave 10 Kitsap movement.