The gift of philanthropy is not just for High Net Worth individuals. Common folks also acquire wealth. Charity, gifting, fundraising, giving back to society, donating, grant making, scholarships, providing a helping hand, and bona-fide tax deductions, are all estate planning and wealth transfer tools for everyone.
Mrs. Millicent Garner, a retired shool teacher from Montana, never married and had no offspring. She acquired modest wealth through inheritance. In retirement she created her own Private Foundation and funded it with $500K. During her retierement the Foundation provided her the main source of her activity. She would spend each year researching which public charities or schools to contribute to that year. Also, she would seek out wealthier individuals than her in the hopes they would gift some of their wealth to her Foundation, whose stated purpose was to improve K-12 education and provide needy grants to individual college bound students.
Mrs. Garner passed away in 2010 having grown her Foundation into a 6 person workforce, managing over $10 Million. Charity starts in the heart she would often say. Her passion for helping others was infectious. She believed that the greatest benefits wealth transfer, inheritance and bequests occur before death, while she can still guide and affect the outcome.
Mr. and Ms. Arnold, acquired their wealth in the Oil Industry. Respectively, they gifted $235.9-million to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a Private Foundation they created for tax and gift purposes in 2008. The philanthropy supports programs to improve the reliability of scientific research, K-12 public education, the criminal-justice system, and public-policy practices.
Last year the foundation awarded grants totaling $127.5-million. Some of those grants included $35.5-million to the Nutrition Science Initiative to improve the quality of science in nutrition and obesity research; $15-million to MDRC for programs that advocate for public policy to address the causes of poverty; $10.6-million to public charter schools in New Orleans; and $9.8-million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish a North American office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a research center focused on the use of randomized evaluations to answer policy questions related to fighting poverty.
To date, the Arnolds have put more than $1-billion into their foundation. The couple also donated $60-million to their donor-advised fund and through that fund gave $10-million to Baylor College of Medicine, $10-million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $1.5-million to the ACLU Foundation, $1.2-million to the Center for Reproductive Rights, and other grants. In addition, the Arnolds gave about $300,000 personally to other charities.