On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln closed his First Inaugural Address with these immortal words:

“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely, they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

— Abraham Lincoln – First Inaugural Address 


In the spirit of Lincoln’s words, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation created the Better Angels Alliance planned-giving society. It is comprised of donors with the foresight and generosity to include the Foundation in their estate plans. Alliance members keenly understand the perpetual need to preserve, share, and contextualize the past for the benefit of future generations, and to support the Foundation’s vital work in this arena.

We invite you to connect your legacy to Abraham Lincoln’s by joining the Better Angels Alliance. Simply include the Lincoln Presidential Foundation in your estate plans and let us know you’ve done so. You will become part of a community of individuals who have helped build and establish vital institutions, programs, and resources focused on Abraham Lincoln for the public benefit. Alliance members receive all the benefits of Foundation membership, as well as special recognition and invitations to exclusive events.

Ways to Give 

Always consult with your legal or financial advisors to remain informed and up to date on tax law changes, and to ensure that your gift intentions are clearly defined. There are many ways to make a charitable gift as part of your estate plan. Some popular ones include:

  • Bequest
    A bequest is a donor’s notice of intention to make a planned gift. It may be modified at any time. A bequest can involve a designated amount, a percentage of the estate, or the balance of an estate after providing for other bequests of specific dollar amounts or assets. Sample language for including the Lincoln Presidential Foundation in your will:
    I give $______to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation, a Section 501c3 charitable organization, to be used for its mission and general purposes.
    I give _____% of the residue of my estate to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation, a Section 501c3 charitable organization, to be used for its mission and general purposes. 
  • Life Insurance
    Naming the Lincoln Presidential Foundation as primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy directs the policy’s proceeds to benefit the Foundation’s mission. Or, the cash surrender value and all future premiums paid on the policy in your lifetime may be taken as a charitable deduction if you transfer ownership of the life insurance to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation.

    Also, you may contribute a “paid up” policy to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation and receive a charitable tax deduction approximately equal to the cash surrender value of the policy.
  • Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Other Retirement Plans
    A number of tax benefits are associated with naming the Lincoln Presidential Foundation as a beneficiary of your IRA or retirement plan. These assets are often subject to both income and estate taxes. However, should you name the Foundation as a beneficiary, the assets pass income- and estate-tax-free from your estate.

    Check with your financial planner on the current status of IRA rollover laws. 
  • Life Income Gifts (Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Remainder Trusts)
    A life income gift allows you to give assets at a future date, while, in the interim, providing you or others with either a fixed or variable annual income until such time as the Lincoln Presidential Foundation gains access to gifted assets. You may make a life income gift by transferring securities, cash, or other property. While the assets are being managed by the Foundation, the income from them goes to you or your designated beneficiary, with the principal of the gift passing to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation at the time that you designate. Gifts using trusts or gifts of real estate provide unique and flexible benefits while allowing you to plan for your future and that of family members after your death.

    The Lincoln Presidential Foundation welcomes the opportunity to speak with you and your financial planner to explore the charitable giving option that works best for you.

Benefits of Planned Giving 

Making a planned gift to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation is an important investment in our future. There are a range of potential personal benefits to making a charitable bequest or other planned gift. For example, by making a planned gift to the Foundation you may, depending on the details of your estate plan:

  • Help ensure that the financial needs of your family are met.
  • Reduce your income tax.
  • Avoid capital gains tax.
  • Retain control of your assets during your lifetime.
  • Modify your estate plan if circumstances change.

We invite you to join the Better Angels Alliance today. Together, we can preserve, protect, and advance the legacy of the 16th president of the United States.

For more information contact Phyllis Evans at pevans@lincolnpresidential.org or call (217) 557-5610.