Barbara and Herb Sanders believe in the importance of high-quality education. Barb is dean of the Whitworth University School of Education and is a proud '92 graduate of Whitworth's Master in Teaching Program. The Sanderses' two sons and daughters-in-law are also Whitworth grads, and Barb and Herb have provided financial support for several Whitworth students who attended their church.
Whitworth's mission to educate students' minds and hearts aligns with the Sanderses' personal goals to grow and support Christian education and future leaders in society. "The Lord has given us a wonderful marriage, a delightful family, and financial resources," Barb says. "Because of this, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to share our resources with others, including future Whitworthians."
When considering how to ensure that their legacy has the most impact, Barb and Herb thought carefully about which assets they should give to their chosen charities. The Sanderses decided to designate Whitworth University as a beneficiary of both their IRAs and their 401(k)s, which would allow them to balance their estate with philanthropic gifts and asset transfers to family members.
"We identified those assets that have a tax due upon the transfer to be given to nonprofit organizations like Whitworth and our church," Barb says. The gift of pre-tax funds such as a 401-k or IRA is the most tax-efficient method of asset transfer, which then allows non-taxable assets to go to family members.
"The inclusion of Whitworth University in our estate allows us to contribute to a legacy that meets our personal objectives," Barb says. The couple encourages others to consider leaving estate gifts to their own favorite organizations.
"Prospective donors often ask about the number of current faculty and staff who give to the university, Barb says. "As a graduate and a 20-year Whitworth employee, I believe it's important to support Whitworth financially. I feel blessed to work here, and the least I can do is to share this blessing to allow others to experience this special place."