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Giving to the WGAE Foundation


A check made payable to:

Writers Guild of America, East Foundation
250 Hudson Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Donate online via our donate button.

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Stock/Securities: Note that if you donated appreciated stock, you can gain a tax deduction and avoid capital gains tax.

In-kind gifts: including original scripts and other materials which can be sold to underwrite Foundation programs.

A major gift: designed to underwrite a designated program.

A recurring pledge: that will help the Foundation plan its program year.

Life Insurance: you can donate a life insurance policy or make the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation a beneficiary.

Personal property, including real estate: in addition to leaving property in your will or trust, you can donate property to the Writers Guild Foundation now, and continue to live in it until you die.

Intangible gifts, e.g. rights to residuals or royalties. Did you know that you can donate your residuals to the Writers Guild Foundation? Here are some reasons to consider it.

• Your heirs (other than your spouse) are likely to have to pay taxes on your residuals after your death. The Foundation will receive such a bequest tax-free; and your gift will be of benefit to all writers.

• When your heirs change their residence or mailing address, they frequently forget to inform the Writers Guild, and despite the Writers Guild’s best efforts, often become untraceable. Your unclaimed residuals then remain in trust-account limbo indefinitely. If you leave your residuals to the Foundation, your money can be put to good use immediately or after whatever period you specify.

• You may not expect your estate to receive a great deal in residuals after your death, and the small amounts may not be of significant benefit to your heirs. But an accumulation of such small amounts from a number of writers can be of enormous benefit to the Foundation, and thus to all writers.

Outright gifts such as these provide ongoing and immediate support to the Foundation’s work and may provide you, the donor, with tax deductions and possibly other savings, depending on your individual circumstance.


You might not be able to make a large gift now, but you may well be able to make a deferred gift. The most common planned or deferred gift is a bequest in your will or trust. A bequest may allow you to contribute much more than you might have felt able to do in your lifetime, while simultaneously giving you an opportunity to reduce the tax liability of your estate. If your estate, including your home and personal property, is worth more than a designated amount ($3.5 million in 2009 – check with the IRS for the most recent provisions) it may be liable for substantial taxes. A bequest to the Foundation or another charity may reduce estate tax liability to your family and other heirs.


Three of the most common ways to arrange a bequest are:

Outright bequest: You can leave a specific dollar amount, specific items of tangible or intangible property or a fraction/proportion of your estate to the Foundation. You can also leave royalties or residuals to the Foundation.

Residue: You might decide that the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation is to receive the remainder of your estate once all other beneficiaries have received their specific gifts.

Contingency: The Foundation only benefits from your bequest after the lifetime of a family member or after a specific event has occurred; for instance, after a child or other individual has completed his/her education or has married.

Your IRA or 401 (k): Unless you have a surviving spouse to inherit your IRA, these funds are subject to heavy taxes, and in some cases can be diminished by up to 80%. This can be avoided if you leave your IRA or 401 (k) to the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation, or if you make the Foundation a beneficiary of your plan.

A note about wording: Should you decide that you would like to make a bequest to the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation, you should designate your gift in favor of “The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation, located at 250 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013.” The correct name of the charity is most important.


Other deferred gifts:

Another type of deferred gift is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement you place a sum of money in a trust, which provides interest income for you or a beneficiary for your or his/her lifetime, with the capital going to the Foundation after your or your beneficiary’s death. This type of gift is particularly suitable for large appreciated investments which you have owned for more than 12 months and which are likely to be subject to a high capital gains tax. The interest rate is generally higher than that available from a bank, particularly if you are older.

There are other kinds of trusts available, too. A charitable lead trust allows you to designate a charity to receive a regular fixed amount from a trust for a specific period or for the lifetime of a particular person. At the end of that time the remainder of the trust passes to your designated heirs or other non-charitable beneficiaries.

Whatever you decide, however, good estate planning is essential. You need to do all you can to minimize the burdens on your heirs and maximize the potential of your estate. Please note that this pamphlet is not intended to take the place of professional advice, which we recommend that you obtain from a lawyer or accountant with expertise in taxation and estate matters.

If you would like more information about giving opportunities, or if you are interested in making a planned gift or in setting up a trust to benefit the WGAE Foundation please contact us at 212-767-7843.

The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation
250 Hudson Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10013

The WGAE Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.