Circle of Stewards Legacy Society

For donors who want to create a philanthropic plan that goes beyond their lifetime.

The greatest thing this generation can do is lay a few stepping stones for the next generation.

-Charles F. Kettering

The Circle of Stewards Legacy Society is for donors who want to create a philanthropic plan that goes beyond their lifetime to benefit Blandford Nature Center’s future. Planned giving extends your support to the organizations or causes you love, and leaves a legacy for future generations.

Planned gifts can be set up in different ways but they all share important benefits including:

  • They can reduce estate taxes
  • They allow you to support the organizations you are passionate about by leaving a legacy of giving
  • They give you the opportunity to make a larger gift than you could during your lifetime
  • Reassurance that your assets will be donated to individuals and organizations that you want

When you’re ready to make a planned gift and discuss the next steps, please fill out a Circle of Stewards Legacy Society Statement of Intent then contact our Development Department at or 616-735-6240 ext. 121.

Types of Planned Gifts

A bequest from a will or trust is the simplest type of planned gift. You put language into your estate documents that defines how much you want to give to a particular organization.


  • It is very simple to add a bequest into your estate planning documents.
  • You decide how much you want to give-specify a dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate to give.
  • Your gift may help lower the estate taxes for your heirs.

Life insurance is often a “just in case” purchase. We don’t necessarily plan to use it, but we feel better knowing the policy is there. What many people don’t know is that life insurance makes a wonderful planned gift.


  • Life insurance is often the most highly-taxed element of an estate. You may reduce taxes on the rest of your estate by giving it to a non-profit.
  • A life insurance policy has a fixed value, so you know how much you are giving.
  • You may choose to give all or a portion of the policy to a non-profit.
  • Life insurance policies are very easy to give to a non-profit. You simply specify them as a beneficiary.

If you would like to explore other avenues, we would be happy to have a conversation with you. Those options could include:

  • Retirement accounts
  • Gifts of stock or securities
  • Gifts of appreciated assets or real property
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Charitable lead trusts

Recognizing Your Gift

Planned giving is a private affair and donors are not required to share their plans. If you want to give anonymously, please let us know so that we may honor your confidentiality request. However, we do wish to sincerely honor donors who want to be recognized. The Circle of Stewards Legacy Society is for donors who have informed us of pending gifts in their estate plans.

It is our way of thanking those who are making choices today that will benefit the future of Blandford. We may honor Circle of Stewards Legacy Society members in a variety of ways:

  • Through marketing such as our website, social media, print materials, & e-newsletters
  • On our special donor wall inside the Visitor Center
  • At our annual Back to Nature Breakfast and Giving Thanks Reception

Circle of Stewards Legacy Society Members

  • Heather Bell
  • Charles & Mary Jo Burpee
  • Katherine Chase (in memoriam)
  • Amy Clay
  • Michelle Covington (in memory of Jean L. Johnson)
  • Mary Jane Dockeray (in memoriam)
  • Gerald A. & Donna J. Foy
  • Don & Laurie Gardner
  • Arend & Nancy Lubbers
  • Joseph and Marilyn Martin
  • Jason & Kate Meyer
  • Susan & Jeff Meyers
  • Laurie Rosenberg
  • John D. Schneider
  • John P. & Judith Schneider
  • Winifred L. Spoelstra (in memoriam)
  • Ron & Sandi Steensma
  • Joan Stuecken
  • Linda M. Weeks
  • Douglas & Dolores White
  • Walter F. Whitman (in memoriam)
  • Robert Zylstra
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