Holly Donaldson Casella '07

Photo of Holly Donaldson Casella '07As I approached my tenth reunion in 2017, I reflected on all Taft has given me over the years—a first-class education, opportunities to lead and to take risks, lifelong friends, confidence, and the capability to articulate and pursue ideas, among many other things. Reflecting on all my happy memories at Taft and, more recently, at the weddings of my closest Taft friends, I struggle to imagine my life without the four years I spent in Watertown.

So how do we repay a place that has given us so much? We give generously to the Annual Fund, and we attend and support reunions. But what else can we do to ensure that future Tafties will have the same great experience we’ve had? The answer, my friends, is planned giving.

If you’ve thought about it at all, you probably think that establishing a planned gift for Taft is a step that’s decades away. “I’m in my 20s (30s, 40s, or 50s), why would I think about a planned gift now? Isn’t planned giving for older generations?” As someone who has seen the impact planned gifts can have on an organization’s capacity to plan and envision the future, I say, “Not anymore.”

As young professionals, we understand the importance of giving back and investing in Taft, but right now we may not yet have the capacity to give at the level we’d like. While we are busy with career, family, and life in general, we might not think we have the time to set some of these options in motion. And although some planned giving decisions may seem complex, there are many ways to establish a planned gift—and some very simple opportunities—you can consider right now. One of the easiest ways is by naming Taft as a beneficiary or co-beneficiary of your 401(k) or 403(b). It is as simple as filling out a change-of-beneficiary form and designating a particular amount or percentage you want to give.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, making a planned gift official during a reunion year means it counts toward your class’s overall reunion giving—so in addition to all of the great benefits above, you can also help your class grow its total giving exponentially over other classes. Securing a place in history for your class while also helping to secure Taft’s future—that’s a win-win.

Taft has more than 500 members in the Legacy Society. Of these incredible Taft alums, 221 are living—but only 12 percent graduated after 1980. It’s time for a change. Please join me in adding your name to the Legacy Society this year. Together we can make an impact for Taft and its future generations of students.


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