Planned Giving

How to Include the Country Dance and Song Society in Your Will

Many of our members and friends have asked, "How can I include CDSS in my will?" A will is the most common way for a person to make a gift at death to family, friends, and charitable  organizations. It is important for a will to be kept up-to-date and valid, making sure that it truly reflects a person's wishes and clearly expresses the desired distributions. Since the laws and requirements that govern wills vary from state to state, and tax law changes from year to year, it is wise to seek skilled professional assistance.

Legal Name and Address

"Country Dance and Song Society, Inc." is our legal name. The official address is 116 Pleasant St. Suite 345, Easthampton MA 01027-2759. (For those of you who included us in your will years ago, we are the same organization that was known as the Country Dance Society, Inc. with business offices in New York City. We merged that corporation with CDSS, Inc. after the move to Massachusetts in 1987. We also have been popularly known as "Country Dance and Song Society of America," but the correct legal name is as stated at the beginning of this paragraph.)

Corporate and Tax Status

The Country Dance and Song Society is incorporated in the State of Massachusetts. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit educational organization. Our IRS employee identification number is EIN 04-3031125.

To Name the Society as a Beneficiary

To name the Country Dance and Song Society as a beneficiary, the following wording is suggested: "I bequeath to the Country Dance and Song Society, Inc., a nonprofit corporation in Easthampton, Massachusetts, the following..."

Tax Benefits

Any provision of a will is subject to change during the lifetime (and competency) of the person who made the will. Therefore, a provision for a charitable bequest does not qualify for a current tax charitable contributions deduction. However, the value of the gift will be deductible for federal estate tax, and possibly state estate tax, purposes. In estates large enough to be subject to the federal estate tax the savings can be substantial.

Types of Bequest

There are several types of bequest that may be used, including:

  • A specific dollar amount, to be paid out of liquid estate assets. 
  • Named property items, such as specific securities, real estate, or valuable tangible personal property. 
  • The residuary estate, or a percentage of the residual value that remains after all costs have been paid and specific bequests made. 
  • A contingent gift, passing to the Country Dance and Song Society only when the named beneficiary dies before the donor. 

Alternatives to the Will

A person planning a future gift to the Society has options other than a bequest through a will.

  • One option is to establish a living trust with provisions that direct the distribution of estate assets.
  • Another is to name the Country Dance and Song Society as a beneficiary (or one of the beneficiaries) of a life insurance policy. It could be an existing policy that is no longer needed for its original purpose or a new policy purchased specifically to carry out charitable objectives.
  • A third option is to make a "payable on death" (POD) designation on a certificate of deposit or other personal account, naming the Country Dance and Song Society to receive the asset on death of the donor.

Your professional financial or legal adviser can be very helpful in explaining the many planned giving options to you.

Sharing Your Plans

It is not necessary to share with us your plans for a future gift to the Country Dance and Song Society. We understand and respect the personal and confidential nature of such decisions. We do, however, appreciate having the opportunity to personally thank the members and friends who have planned future gifts. When we are informed of such a plan, the information is treated in confidence and with the understanding that the donor's plans may change in future years.

For Further Information

If you have questions about the preceding information or wish to know more about making a future gift to the Country Dance and Song Society, please write or call Robin Hayden, Director of Development: robin@cdss.org, 413-203-5467 x107.