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AFSC's core beliefs speak to this long-time donor

Dr. Ruth Lofgren

Ruth Lofgren in her home in San Antonio, Texas.

The late Dr. Ruth Lofgren was a scientific and environmental pioneer, a philanthropist dedicated to a multitude of causes, and a long-time AFSC supporter who said that the organization's work for peace with justice spoke to her own core beliefs.

"The worth of every person and the power of love to overcome injustice—this is the essence of what I believe," Dr. Lofgren said, echoing the underlying tenets of AFSC's work as she explained why she was such a steadfast supporter.

Dr. Lofgren was born in 1916 into a devout Mormon family in Utah. A scientist with degrees in microbiology and chemistry, she helped pioneer electron microscopy and, in the 1960s, was one of the first practitioners of what was then a relatively new field called ecology. She began attending Quaker meeting during her years as a graduate student at the University of Michigan and was deeply moved by what she saw. "I watched people in Quaker meeting being so simple and quiet and unassuming about their good works," she recalled.

After joining the faculty at the City University of New York (CUNY), Dr. Lofgren continued attending Quaker meeting and became a Quaker in the late '60s. When she retired from CUNY, Dr. Lofgren moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she was active in science, justice, and environmental education.

It was through her Quaker connections that Dr. Lofgren first learned about AFSC's work during both world wars. She was particularly impressed with AFSC's Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which has been in San Antonio twice.

"San Antonio is ‘Military Town, USA,' and there's been strong opposition to the exhibit," she said. "It's a realistic statement of how destructive war is, but here it's seen as a pacifist statement. When people see the lines and lines of boots, it's a shock."

Science and the natural world had always fascinated Dr. Lofgren, who also focused on issues of consciousness and the spirit. "We are all incarnate spirits, with body, mind, and spirit. I have a deep conviction that the spirit goes on indefinitely, and I'd like to see us develop a conceptual framework that includes the spiritual component along with the physical and mental," she said.

Dr. Lofgren included AFSC in her will and established gift annuities as well as a charitable remainder trust with the organization, which benefitted AFSC and provided her with a steady income during her lifetime.

"I want to have the good work that AFSC and others do continue, especially for those who can't help themselves," Dr. Lofgren explained. "I'm trying to do my share for future generations."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the American Friends Service Committee a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

I devise and bequeath to the American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (tax ID #23-1352010) (Insert amount of gift or insert the word "all" or the percentage of the estate) to be used for its general purposes.

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to AFSC or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to AFSC as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to AFSC as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and AFSC where you agree to make a gift to AFSC and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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