How to Make a Bequest to Commonweal

Many Commonweal readers over the years have made bequests to the magazine in their wills. These gifts, whether large or small, have a direct impact on our ability to put Commonweal on a firm financial footing and invest in its future.

Each year, bequests make it possible for the magazine to undertake special projects and new initiatives that its regular income and annual gifts cannot cover. From expanding our outreach to younger readers to building the magazine’s editorial staff, from commissioning new articles to strengthening the magazine’s technology resources, bequests often make the difference at Commonweal between simply surviving and moving forward with confidence.

To recognize Commonweal’s friends who support us in this way, we have formed the Edward Skillin Society, named for our longtime publisher, editor and guiding spirit (1904-2000). Among his many good deeds, it was Edward Skillin’s formation of the nonprofit Commonweal Foundation, and the generous donation of his ownership stake in the magazine, that has helped make it possible for us to survive, and even thrive, as we approach our 90th year. Skillin Society members will receive recognition annually in the pages of Commonweal, and they are also invited to an annual reception, where they can receive our thanks in person and get an insiders’ view of what the future holds for the magazine.

All bequests to The Commonweal Foundation (the magazine’s parent), as a charitable, not-for-profit organization, are fully deductible for estate tax purposes.

To Make An Unrestricted Bequest
A simple paragraph, added to an existing will, is often all that’s required. For example, the following sentence is usually sufficient for Commonweal to benefit from your bequest: “I give [dollar amount or percentage of estate or description of security] to The Commonweal Foundation, New York, NY, to be used for its exempt purposes.” (In case your attorney or adviser should request it, Commonweal’s Federal tax identification number is 13-3174407.)

Residual or Conditional Bequests
If you wish, the residue of your estate can be directed to Commonweal after bequests of specific amounts to family members and friends. In this case, the following language may be sufficient: “I give [percent] of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to The Commonweal Foundation, New York, NY, for its exempt purposes.” In addition, you may make your bequest conditional, in case an heir named in your will does not survive you: “In the event that [name of primary beneficiary] should not survive me, I give, devise and bequeath [the desired sum, property or percentage of your estate] to The Commonweal Foundation, New York, NY, for its exempt purposes.”

Restricted Bequests
While an unrestricted bequest gives Commonweal the greatest flexibility, you may have a specific purpose for your bequest in mind, such as the endowment of an editorial position, college and university outreach, or a purchase you would like to enable the magazine to make. We invite you to consult with us about specific projects and opportunities where such help would be extraordinarily welcome.

For More Information Contact:
Christa Kerber
Director of Development
Commonweal
475 Riverside Drive, Room 405
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 484-437-3979
Fax: 212-662-4183
E-mail: ckerber@commonwealmagazine.org