Green Bananas and Giving Back
Yes, it was a reasonable question.
Why, I was asked, had I decided to take out a charitable gift annuity in favor of UMass Boston? An overly smart answer might well have been to attribute my decision to Carolyn Flynn of the university’s office of planned giving who delightfully mentored my way through the procedure with professional skill and charm.
She, however, quickly headed me off. “No, I want to know why you chose UMass Boston and not some other institution – your alma mater, a hospital, a church, a dog-and-cat-home.” I warned her it might be a boring recital but I would do my best.
First, I am retired and of an age where I look askance at buying green bananas, and I already have taken care of family commitments. But I have a new-found friend facing somewhat “straightened” circumstances who could be helped by a small monthly stipend.
“I could give to a school I had supported in concept, in birth and in growth to what it is today; a dynamic public institution serving the young and not-so-young people of Boston, its metropolitan suburbs and even parts beyond.”
I had accumulated a few of these annuity invitations and, curious, selected the one from UMass.
Part of the reason: For 15 of the 37 years I spent at the Boston Globe, I wrote a twice a week column on the city and urban affairs in general. And in some of those columns I strongly supported the need for UMass to have a strong presence in Boston. I also took to task the opposition of private colleges and universities to a UMass Boston campus.
And it so happened when retirement came (and at that time the Globe had a very questionable age retirement rule) Edmund Beard who found funding to open the McCormack Institute of Public Affairs (now the John W. McCormack Graduate School) in 1983 offered me a senior fellowship which I happily accepted and enjoyed for 10 years.
So, as I told Carolyn, a lot of things came together. And among the options she outlined I found I could not only cover my friend with the annuity but myself, in effect a sort of “two-for.” And, of course, best of all I could give a small contribution to a school I had supported in concept, in birth and in growth to what it is today; a dynamic public institution serving the young and not-so-young people of Boston, its metropolitan suburbs and even parts beyond.
To learn more about how you can establish a charitable gift annuity, contact:
Carolyn Flynn, Esq.
Director of Gift Planning, UMass Foundation