Leaving a legacy of freedom

An old adage says, "The shade we enjoy today comes from trees planted by others long ago."

This simple yet insightful passage speaks to the impact of acting today to preserve the ideals and institutions that benefit future generations. By including the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in your will or estate plan, you help ensure that there is a strong, clear voice to speak for free enterprise and individual liberty for years to come.

You also will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your hard-earned assets will be used in support of the values you cherished during your lifetime - those of liberty, self-reliance and limited, accountable government.

As a legacy donor to the Mackinac Center, you become a member of the Mackinac Center Legacy Society, a growing family of generous individuals who are committed to liberty. Legacy Society members receive special benefits, including recognition at all Mackinac Center events, special mailings and a special luncheon each fall.

There are many ways to include the Mackinac Center in your will, living trust, charitable gift annuity or life insurance policy, as described below.

If you would like to discuss these options further, please call our office at 989-631-0900 and ask to speak with an Advancement representative, or send an email to LegacySociety@Mackinac.org.

Will or Living Trust

You can donate to the Mackinac Center through your will or living trust. A bequest of your assets also brings a tax benefit to your family, as your estate is entitled to an “estate tax charitable deduction” for the full value of your bequest.

It’s simple, and it may not require a revision of your entire will, although we always recommend reviewing your will with your attorney at regular intervals.

A simple codicil may be added with wording such as:

“I direct my personal representative to make the following charitable contribution from my property. Such contribution may be made either in cash or marketable securities at the election of my personal representative:

The sum of __________________ to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, of Midland, Michigan, (IRS Tax ID 38-2701547), provided that this charity is still in existence at my death, qualifies for a charitable tax deduction, and is following its original mission as a free market public policy research organization, to advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government. If there is any dispute as to whether this foundation is continuing to follow its original mission, that determination shall be made by my personal representative at his or her sole discretion.”

Life Insurance or Retirement Plan Gift

You can designate the Mackinac Center for Public Policy as a charitable beneficiary of your life insurance policy or qualified retirement plan such as an IRA.

Charitable Gift Annuity

This is simple contract under which, in exchange for your irrevocable gift of cash or securities, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy agrees to pay one or two annuitants named by you a fixed sum each year for life.

Charitable Remainder Trust

This is a gift plan defined by federal tax law that allows you to provide income to yourself or others while also making a generous gift to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. You irrevocably transfer assets, usually cash or securities, to a trustee of your choice. The Trust may become effective through outright transfers during your lifetime or through transfers at death under your will.

Your Accountant and Attorney

In all cases, we encourage members to consult with their own accountants or attorneys on estate plans. We can assist in discussing the benefits of such gifts with families to help them understand the details.

Free workshops

The Mackinac Center hosts two free Planning for Life workshops each year to help introduce our supporters to the basics of estate planning. You are welcome to attend these and hear our expert speakers at no charge. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the mailing list for invitations to these events.


If you name the Mackinac Center as a beneficiary in your estate plan, we hope you will let us know. Not only does this help with our planning, but it means we can say thank you and offer you the recognition you deserve.

Thank you again. For more information about planned giving, please feel free to contact us at 989-631-0900 or LegacySociety@mackinac.org.