A Few Words From Debbie–June 2014

A Few Words From Debbie
From the Desk of the Executive Director 

While our organization is made up of a vast array of unique and thriving arts and cultural organizations, individual artists, art educators and art students, we would not be able to continue the work that is so vital in our community if not for the kindness and generosity of patrons and contributors.  We hold two very successful fundraising events each year which raise close to $40,000 for our organization…supplementing these events are opportunities for anyone and everyone who believes that arts and culture is central and at the heart of economic and community development in Greater Lansing.  

We hope you will consider a contribution and thereby invest in the mission and vision of the Arts Council. And of course, we have a number of ways for you to contribute including Annual Giving, contributing to our Endowment Funds or the Chris Clark Fellowship Fund or though Planned Gifts.

Annual GivingThe core of our giving comes from hundreds of corporate and individual contributions made to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing to support our general operations and sometimes very specific programs. We have four distinct levels of giving and all contributions are fully tax deductible:

Partners – Up to $249

Champions – $250 – $749

Ambassadors – $750 – $999

For those of you who contribute $1,000 or more, we have created a very unique club–The Grand Society.Through philanthropy and fellowship, members of the Grand Society receive annual special recognition and unique access to regional arts and cultural opportunities while building sustainable support for the arts.  Donate to our Annual Giving CampaignDownload the Grand Society commitment form here.

Chris Clark Fellowship Program for Creative Professionals Fund Chris Clark Fellowship Program for Creative Professionals was established through a legacy gift from Chris to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. The goal of the program is to support creative capacity building for individuals such as artists, arts administrators, arts business owners, and arts instructors in greater Lansing.  Donate by downloading the form here.

Endowment Giving through the Capital Region Community FoundationThe Arts Council of Greater Lansing has three major funds held with the Capital Region Community Foundation, which offer a variety of ways to contribute in the way that best suits your interests. Review the three categories listed below, and visit the CRCF link below and search the appropriate fund name to contribute. All contributions to any of these funds are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.  Donate by searching fund name “Arts Council of Greater Lansing” at

Arts Council of Greater Lansing Endowment – To promote, coordinate and advance the arts & culture in the greater Lansing area.

Suzanne B. Mills Fund for the Arts – In honor of Suzanne B. Mills, former Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, for her years of dedicated service.

Arts Advancement Fund – To benefit and advance our arts and cultural community. 

Planned GiftsPlanned gifts support the Arts Council’s mission to lead, advocate for, and advance arts and culture in the capital region. Whether to utilize any of these vehicles, and if so, which ones, depends greatly upon your own individual financial and tax situation. You should therefore discuss these options with your professional advisors — financial and legal — to determine the best approach for you.

• Bequests: can be a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or what remains after other bequests — including those to family members — are made. Or, your trust can specify that your heirs receive lifetime income, with the remainder going to the Arts Council. 

 Retirement Assets: may be used to support your charitable interests while achieving significant tax advantages for your heirs. They offer a highly efficient way to preserve your estate and to give a significant gift.

• Charitable Remainder Trusts: appeal to donors with appreciated assets such as real estate or securities. They allow you to receive income (or provide income for another person) with the knowledge that the funds remaining when the trust terminates will be used to support your charitable interests.

• Charitable Gift Annuities: are a contract between you and the Arts council, guaranteeing you or someone you name a certain fixed income for life. At the death of the last annuity recipient, assets will be used by the Arts Council as you originally specified.

• Charitable Lead Trust: The income generated by assets placed in a charitable lead trust is paid to the Arts Council for a designated period of years. When this term expires, the corpus passes to other beneficiaries — often, family members — named by the donor. While you cannot receive an income tax deduction for the value of the assets placed in a charitable lead trust, the yearly income paid to the Arts Council is excluded from your taxable income during the trust term.

• Life insurance: can be used as a charitable asset when you name the Arts Council as a beneficiary of your policy. 

We hope you’ll join us in supporting the growth and future of the Arts Council by considering a charitable contribution today. Your dollars, combined with the dollars of others who value the work of the Arts Council, will ensure the sustainability of our work. Please feel free to call me to discuss a gift to the Arts Council – (517) 372-4636.

Deborah E. Mikula

Executive Director