Dedicated Museum members can help provide for the continued success of Mystic Seaport by including the Museum in their estate plans. This is a powerful way to support Mystic Seaport far into the future. Through your will, retirement account, or life insurance, you can contribute something of value to Mystic Seaport—a wonderful and much-needed source of future support.
When considering personal philanthropy in terms of legacy gifts and estate planning, two very simple gifts should be top of mind: Insurance and Retirement Accounts. Naming Mystic Seaport as a beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy, IRA, or other retirement account is an easy way to include the Museum in your estate plans.
Life Insurance and IRA Gifts: Simple Yet Powerful
Bill and Donna Stamm belong to two gift societies at Mystic Seaport because they do two different things:
“The Charles K. Stillman Society (planned giving) is sort of a long-term arrangement when you plan ahead, and The America and the Sea Society (annual giving) provides immediate support for what the Museum needs now. It keeps the Museum going until the long-range plans begin to pay off. Back in the 1960s I took out life insurance policies and made my prep school, college, and Mystic Seaport the beneficiaries,” Bill Stamm said.
Mr. Stamm once worked on the Joseph Conrad and Yankee, and had summer jobs on campus mowing grass and picking up garbage. His commitment to Mystic Seaport has been unwavering.
Over the past 80-plus years, countless members and friends have given generously to support Mystic Seaport. Whether honoring the memory of a loved one, fulfilling a moral obligation, expressing gratitude for a service well-performed, or demonstrating support for the educational mission of the Museum, this philanthropic support has been a wellspring of success for Mystic Seaport. You can help ensure that the vision of the institution’s founders will carry forward for new generations of Americans by including Mystic Seaport in your estate plans.
Creating a Legacy
In 1938, Mystic Seaport (then the Marine Historical Association) received a generous bequest from the estate of Dr. Charles K. Stillman, one of the Museum’s three founders. As the first bequest to the Museum, this significant gesture helped to establish an endowment for the Museums’ programs and operations. It also began what has become a tradition of Legacy Giving at Mystic Seaport. Since then, a great many individuals have made generous gifts to the Museum in their wills or estate plans. In order to recognize their generosity, Mystic Seaport has established the Charles K. Stillman Society, named in honor of our early benefactor.
Planned giving, in consultation with a tax advisor and financial planner, can orchestrate gifts of appreciated assets that benefit the charitable organization while providing advantages to the donor as well. Some planned gifts may provide life income to the donor, others use estate and tax-planning techniques to provide for heirs and charities in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on the donors’ estate.
Give an Inspiring Gift
“I’ve been a member of Mystic Seaport for almost 30 years, and I’ve always enjoyed boating and being on the water in anything from a schooner on Penobscot Bay to a kayak on Long Island Sound. However, my love affair with Mystic Seaport began many years ago with an overnight stay there on my sailboat. Walking along the waterfront at night was a magical experience that truly transported me back to the 1800s.
“In order to ensure that the Museum will be able to continue to instruct and delight its many visitors, it needs the support of its members. As a participant in the PILOT volunteer program I can lend my efforts now, and as a member of the Charles K. Stillman Society I can help plan for long range needs. I urge others to join me.”