Open Nav
Waves texture

Gift & Estate Planning

With Planned Giving, you can maximize the size of your gift to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and its impact on our community.

Waves texture

Which assets should you give? When should you give them? What type of gift arrangement is most beneficial? Learn more below about how planned giving can maximize your gift to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.

Gift of Securities

One of the most effective ways to invest in a charity is to donate appreciated securities. When you donate stock with a long-term gain, you put full value of your asset to work, because capital gains taxes are completely avoided. You can also take a charitable deduction for the stock's full value.

Example: A donor gives stock worth $25,000 which she bought for $10,000. The DSO puts $25,000 worth of stock to use for its programs or endowment. The donor takes a tax deduction of $25,000 and avoids paying capital gain tax on the $15,000 appreciation.


Several other planned giving opportunities can be arranged now, but will be initiated after death. Bequests take many forms. A donor may designate a specific dollar amount, a percentage of the estate or the entire residual estate. The most common and easy way to make a bequest is to set up a codicil to your existing will.

Example: Donor states in his/her will or living trust:
"I give the sum of $XYZ to be used where the need is greatest as determined by the DSO Board of Directors." or
"I give _____% to be used where the need is greatest as determined by the DSO Board of Directors."

Such charitable bequests are fully deductible against income or estate taxes.

Gift of Retirement Plan Assets

Often the best strategy for making low-cost, high value charitable gifts is to give your IRA or other retirement plan benefits to charity at death. IRAs and retirement plan assets may be reduced by estate taxes at death and then by income taxes. Total taxes can exceed 80% of the value of the assets for family members.

It may be possible to avoid these taxes by designating the DSO as beneficiary of an IRA or employee benefit plan. At the donor's death, all or a portion of the retirement assets can be put to work for the DSO without reduction by these taxes.

Gift of Life Insurance

Make the DSO the owner and beneficiary of your paid up life insurance policy and, in many cases, receive a current income tax deduction. If the policy is permanent (i.e. not a term policy), the charitable deduction equals the policy's cash surrender value. If the policy is new, the charitable income tax deduction equals the unused premium at the time of the gift.

You Can Start Today

Please consider strengthening the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra with your planned gift to keep the music alive for generations to come.

  • Contact your financial advisor (financial planner, lawyer or accountant) and ask for help in establishing a charitable gift while still providing for your heirs.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date will or living trust that reflects your charitable objectives. Without these documents you surrender control of your property and assets to the courts.
  • Think beyond cash—you can leave stocks, real estate, insurance policies and personal property to the DSO.
  • Make the DSO a beneficiary of your life insurance, pension plan or IRA.

Please reach out if you have made a provision in your will or trust to be recognized in DSO's 1958 Society. This allows us to thank you for your dedication during your lifetime.

To discuss planned giving or any other means of supporting the DSO, contact Kara Murphy, Director of Development:

Kara Murphy

Disclaimer: The DSO is not in a position to offer legal or tax advice. Please consult your personal tax, financial or legal advisors