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Vermont History Explorer

Each of us leaves a legacy through a lifetime of words, deeds and accomplishments.

You may include the Vermont Historical Society in your legacy in many ways. The best option for you depends on your goals:

  • remove taxable assets from your estate
  • generate income for you
  • reduce your taxes
  • make it possible to support the VHS more than you can during your lifetime

To read about planned gift options, you can download our planning giving brochureFor a confidential discussion of your options, please contact Jane Campbell at (802) 479-8516.

Free Estate Planning Newsletter

Click for a PDF of the VHS planned giving newsletter on estate taxes. To subscribe to the next planned giving newsletter, please call Jane Campbell at (802) 479-8516 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wills & bequests

A bequest is simple wording in your will, such as: "I give, devise, and bequeath to Vermont Historical Society, Inc. a nonprofit organization in Barre, Vermont, the sum of _______________ (or describe any Marion Galbraith Merrill WebLegacy Circle Member Marion Galbraith Merrillreal or personal property) to be used for general purposes."

Making a bequest is easy.

You can amend an existing will or draft a new one, leaving some or all of your estate to VHS, reducing estate taxes and preserving our heritage beyond your lifetime.

Gift of retirement plan

You can name Vermont Historical Society as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) or other retirement plan.

Simply contact your plan administrator for a change of beneficiary form. There will be no tax due on the distribution that comes to VHS.

Gift of life insurance

You can name Vermont Historical Society as a full or partial beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Simply contact your plan administrator for a change of beneficiary form.

Or, if it's a policy you no longer need, you can make VHS the owner of the policy by filing a change of ownership form. You will receive a tax deduction for the policy's cash surrender value or replacement cost. Premiums you pay after making VHS the owner of the policy are also tax-deductible.

Please contact Jane Campbell (802) 479-8516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

Charitable gift annuities

When you set up an annuity, you receive a fixed amount of income annually for the rest of your life, some of which is tax-free. You also receive a charitable deduction and save on estate taxes.

At the end of the annuity, the remaining principal passes to the VHS or generates income for the VHS.

You also may consider a "deferred gift annuity," which gives you an annuity income at a future date, perhaps in your retirement, to receive the annuity income at a higher rate of return.

Please contact Jane Campbell (802) 479-8516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Click for a PDF of the VHS planned giving newsletter on annuities. To subscribe to the next planned giving newsletter, please call Jane Campbell at (802) 479-8516 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Charitable remainder trust

With this trust, you and/or other beneficiaries receive a fixed annual sum or fixed percentage of the trust's value each year, with the remaining assets eventually benefiting the VHS. When you establish the trust, you can receive a tax deduction for part of your gift.

nick-and-carol-muller-for-wLegacy Circle Members Carol Muller and H. Nicholas Muller, Honorary VHS Trustee.

 

"I believe most of us leave our legacy though strengthening institutions that project our values, what we hold important, and secure them for future generations.

For that reason, Carol and I have named the Vermont Historical Society as a beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust.

We want to assist those who follow us to understand their heritage as part of valuing and understanding themselves, and in Vermont, the Society does that the best." -- H. Nicholas Muller, VHS Trustee

Charitable lead trust

Perhaps you wish to support VHS while passing assets to your children with reduced or no transfer taxes.

If you have assets you don't need during your lifetime, you could use them to fund a charitable lead trust which would make annual payments to VHS during the term of the trust, then pass the remaining assets to your children or other loved ones.

By carefully constructing the trust payout and term, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate all transfer taxes on your gift to the children, including any unrealized appreciation the trust might have on its holdings.

Please contact Jane Campbell (802) 479-8516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

Join our Legacy Circle

When your will or estate plan includes the Vermont Historical Society, you may, if you wish, become a member of the Vermont Historical Society Legacy Circle. Benefits:

  • A Vermont Historical Society Legacy Circle membership certificate
  • Invitations to special Circle programs
  • Inclusion in Legacy Circle member list
  • You'll inspire others to give the gift of history to future generations, and your legacy will live on

Meet some of our Legacy donors

Marion's love of Vermont lives on with her gift

Marion Galbraith Merrill WebMarion Galbraith Merrill loved Vermont. Though she lived the last years of her life elsewhere, she never forgot her beloved state. When we received the news of her passing, we knew Vermont had lost a devoted friend. Even after her passing, however, Marion gave the gift of history to future generations by including a bequest to the Vermont Historical Society in her estate plan.

A 2009 celebration of Marion's life included a piece written by a good friend of Marion's, which noted that "The Vermont character is part of her personality DNA. The motto of Vermont is 'Freedom and Unity' and this just about says it all. Marion has cherished her freedom, freedom to make up her own mind, and she has striven all of her life for unity, unity of all peoples without regard to race, religion, class, education, social status or sexual orientation....freedom and unity; this is the Vermont spirit that has lived for 95 years in Marion."

Thank you Marion—we are honored and proud that you chose the Vermont Historical Society to carry on your Vermont spirit.

 

alan-weiss-for-webIn Alan Weiss' own words:

"I was a history teacher and had a great love for civics and U.S. history. I taught at Northfield High School for a number of years, and I became part of the Northfield Historical Society and was president for a good number of years.

I realized the importance of collections, maintaining them and making them available.

I have had major interest in historical societies and been involved with the Vermont Historical Society. I saw the VHS newsletter notice about buying a computer, and I thought 'that makes sense,' and I did that.

Then, I thought that with the few assets I've managed to accumulate, 'What better way to use them than for an organization that will be here forever, that will be here permanently and that meets the tenets of preserving, collecting and utilization.' As I was changing my estate plan, I decided I would like to support that going forward. You [VHS] do great things!

Based upon my experience, I heartily wish other like-minded folks will include VHS in their wills."

Thank you Alan—we are very grateful for your generous gift that helps preserve history for future generations.

 

Nick and Carol Muller

NickCarolMullercropped 250forweb"I believe most of us leave our legacy though strengthening institutions that project our values, what we hold important, and secure them for future generations.

For that reason, Carol and I have named the Vermont Historical Society as a beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust.

We want to assist those who follow us to understand their heritage as part of valuing and understanding themselves, and in Vermont, the Society does that the best." —H. Nicholas Muller, Honorary VHS Trustee

Thank you Nick and Carol—we appreciate your commitment to preserving our heritage for the future.

Meet our staff

Any member of our development staff can help you find out more about your giving options. We'd love to hear from you!

For a confidential, no obligation discussion any of these options, please contact any of us.

markMark Hudson, Executive Director

Phone: (802) 479-8515
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Mark brings 20+ years of experience managing archives, special collections and historical societies to the VHS, including having served as the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland for 11 years.

Under Mark's leadership, the Historical Society of Frederick County received the prestigious Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections, and accreditation by the American Association of Museums. At VHS, Mark oversees all aspects of institutional development, fiscal management, planning, government and community relations, facilities management, and trustee relations.

Mark was appointed Chair of the State's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, leading the statewide development, coordination, and marketing of Vermont's Civil War Sesquicentennial activities. He lives in Barre with his wife, Julie.

janeJane Campbell, Director of Development

Phone: (802) 479-8516
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Jane has over 20 years of development experience in both annual and capital campaigns. Her leadership in Vermont organizations includes serving as the Executive Director of the Copley Hospital Foundation, the Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Development Coordinator of the Vermont Studio Center.

At VHS, Jane manages membership recruitment, major donor development, mail appeals, special events, phonathons and grant writing. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in her spare time, she enjoys snowshoeing, running and knitting. Jane lives in Morrisville with her husband and daughter and two cats.

 

DianeCampbell web

Diane Campbell, Development Assistant

Phone: (802) 479-8503
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Diane Campbell has worked for the Vermont Historical Society since 1995. Her position as Development Assistant has evolved over these 18 years, and her expertise and knowledge is a valued resource for the VHS members, staff and trustees alike.  
 
Diane’s responsibilities include: membership and donor record keeping; maintaining the Society’s primary database; performing general secretarial work for the Development department and board of trustees; recruiting, training, and coordinating the VHC front desk and History Expo volunteers.
 
She lives in Barre Town with her husband, Sandy. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her children and grandchildren.

When you contact us, there is no obligation, and your inquiry will be kept confidential. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to ensure that the option you choose is the best for you.

Federal ID #: 03-0179602

We take responsibility to contributors seriously and use donated funds wisely. If you wish to donate in the form of stocks, trusts, life insurance, bequests, etc. please obtain professional counsel before making a gift.

Thank you!