How do you start a miracle growing?

How do you start a miracle growing?  You plant a gift through your will or trust — a gift that can grow and make gifts every year forever.

Sound impossible?  Consider this.  A gift to the Lenawee Community Foundation is invested, and grants are made every year from the earnings.  The original gift can grow, while helping your favorite causes every year.

Eighteen years ago, the Kellogg Foundation made a million-dollar grant to establish our Kellogg Youth Fund.  To date local young people have awarded nearly $650,000 in youth grants and the original $1,000,000 is still intact.

But, you don’t have to invest a large sum on money.  The average gift through a will or trust in the U.S. is $37,000.  From a gift of that size, grants of $1,500 could be awarded every year – forever.

Ninety percent of people say that they would consider a gift to a nonprofit in their will or trust, but only 10% actually do this.  If you would consider helping our community what is holding you back?

You don’t have to be rich.  If your home and everything you own is worth $100,000, would you consider giving 10% to your community in your will or trust?  That $10,000 could be invested in the charitable cause that is most important to you, and every year around $500 could put given to that cause.  Your heirs won’t likely miss 10%, and with good planning, sometimes they can even come out ahead.  And, if you don’t have heirs, why not adopt your community?

If you love your community, you can include it in your will or trust, or as a beneficiary of your IRA or insurance policy.  If you don’t have a will or trust, you’re among the 50% of people who don’t.  But having your affairs in order will bring you peace of mind and the assurance that those you want to receive your worldly possessions, including charity, do so.  If you already have a will or trust, it’s relatively easy to add a codicil to your will or an amendment to your trust in order to leave a legacy to your community.

Viktor Frankl said, “Humans are driven by a will to establish meaning in their lives.  They need purpose.”  By leaving a legacy through your will or trust, you can perpetuate your values, your beliefs, and your desire to matter – for good, forever.

How do you start a miracle growing?  You have to act!  If you’d like to explore the options, call the Lenawee Community Foundation at (517) 423-1729 or email  We can provide the My Wishes document to help you sort out the legacy you wish to leave.  And, we’re always happy to have a conversation with you, to listen, and to help you figure out exactly what you’d like to accomplish through your legacy.

You can start a miracle growing!  100 years from now you can still be giving to your favorite charity!


Suann Hammersmith, President and CEO of the Lenawee Community Foundation, assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community.  Services include: planned giving; information about charities and places to volunteer; and presentations about philanthropy.  If you have questions or would like assistance, contact the Lenawee Community Foundation at (517) 423-1729.