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AOPA Foundation organizer makes it easier for members to manage their legacy giftAOPA Foundation organizer makes it easier for members to manage their legacy gift

Many pilots have a clear desire to protect the freedom to fly for future generations of aviators. What may be a little foggier is how: “How can I ensure that my will and financial plans properly reflect my wishes to support the future of general aviation?” Getting one’s financial house and giving strategies in place can often make a complex flight plan look simple in comparison.

The AOPA Legacy Court is a standing reminder of the many donors to the AOPA Foundation that will help ensure AOPA's sustainability for years to come. Photo by Chris Rose.

To help members alleviate hurdles they might face in determining their giving plans, including keeping the health of GA in their sights, the AOPA Foundation has created an organizing tool that can simplify the process and clear the path to become a member of the Legacy Society.

The AOPA Foundation Legacy Society recognizes those who have included a legacy gift to the AOPA Foundation in their estate plans. Members’ names are engraved on the association’s Legacy Society recognition wall in the Legacy Court at AOPA Headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, as well as in the AOPA Foundation’s annual report. Legacy Society members are also invited to special AOPA Foundation gatherings at aviation events, airshows, and AOPA Fly-Ins.

The Personal Estate Planning Organizer is an easy-to-use and valuable tool to help members save time, and perhaps fees, when meeting with an attorney or financial professional to make a will or prepare an estate. The organizer is designed to help members accurately catalog their personal assets and current plans, as well as list designated beneficiaries and executors, to get a clear picture of how their legacy gift fits into their total financial plan.

“We hear from some members who are very interested in including the AOPA Foundation in their estate plans, and we realize the steps can be somewhat daunting,” said Melissa Rudinger, executive director of the AOPA Foundation. “We created a tool that helps ease the way for our members to keep the AOPA Foundation reflected in their financial plans. Of course, this tool can, and should, be included in any conversation with attorneys or financial planners.”

AOPA relies on philanthropic contributions to the foundation to help fund two of its flagship programs: You Can Fly and the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Through these programs, member gifts ensure that the skies are filled with more and safer pilots, both of which are needed to ensure the freedom to fly. Scholarships for student pilots are only one of the many ways in which the AOPA Foundation is working to grow and support the pilot population. AOPA’s You Can Fly initiatives provide an engaging high school aviation curriculum to thousands of students nationwide. Hundreds of flight schools and flight instructors have received valuable support, more than 150 flying clubs have been launched, and more than 8,000 formerly “rusty” pilots have returned to flying since the program’s inception in 2014. In just one year, alone, Air Safety Institute safety courses, videos, and reports were used 7.7 million times by pilots seeking to improve their skills and safety.

Alyssa J. Miller

Eric Blinderman

Senior Director of Communications
Eric Blinderman is AOPA’s Senior Director of Communications. Eric joined AOPA after several years at marketing/public relations agencies in New York, and is diligently working toward his private pilot certificate.
Topics: AOPA Foundation, Giving

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