Image: Old School DSA logo
Democratic Socialist Legacy Circle:
Planning Today for thee Future of Our Movement
Group of men (80s?)
You’ve supported DSA through good times and bad,
when there seemed to be openings for our politics, and when all doors seemed closed. You didn’t give up, and neither have we. You and DSA have stood on the shoulders of those who came before.
And those who come after us will stand on our shoulders. They will have a legacy of values, ideas, and action. But in order to put the ideas into action, they will also need a legacy of resources.
That’s where you come in.
Image: Harrington at head of large anti-nuclear rally in early 1980s in NYC.
You may not think you have resources to leave to DSA, or you may be planning to leave a legacy gift but just haven’t gotten around to it. In either case, we ask you to take action now to help ensure DSA’s future.
Every year, we receive gifts from supporters who remembered us in their wills. This year, we even received a gift from someone who decided that DSA shouldn’t have to wait until he died! A last gift may be the only time that a person of modest means will be able to leave a significant sum.
Every generation of activists must provide resources for the generations that follow. It is never too early to start planning. Legacy gifts can be a life-giving infusion, if you will. For instance, a life insurance policy on Michael Harrington literally saved the organization when he, the major fundraiser and most visible representative for DSA, died prematurely.
Will you become a legacy supporter of DSA? Will you guarantee that this organization will still be there to champion your values when you’re gone?
About 50 percent of the people in this country don’t have wills. True, many don’t have assets, but if you have a retirement plan or a home, even a car in your name and have not designated beneficiaries, you are creating problems for those left behind.
And in the worst-case scenario, your assets could be used for purposes that you abhor:
- Unmarried partners have been excluded from estates and even evicted from their common home because one dies suddenly before they had gotten around to making wills or adding names to property deeds.
- Relatives who don’t share your values and despise your causes might end up with the bulk of your assets and use them to support their politics instead.
- The state could end up with all of your assets because you have outlived your relatives.
That's why some members have already provided for DSA in their wills or trusts. Others have used their insurance policies or retirement plans to make a final gift.
“Without a strong socialist presence in U.S. politics, the struggle for social justice is severely weakened. I want my children to live in a more just world and be able to participate in a vibrant organization fighting for our cause. That’s why I am including in my will a generous bequest to DSA.”
— Joseph Schwartz, National Vice-Chair of DSAWill you join in the Legacy Circle? Please take these steps now:
- Make a list of all your assets, including your insurance policies, real property, retirement plans, and other resources.
- Make a list of the people for whom you want to provide and the organizations you want to benefit.
- Think about an executor for your estate who will know and understand your wishes.
- Talk to a lawyer. Yes, it’s an expense, but it could save your will from being contested by right-wing relatives.
Please let DSA know so that we can thank you and, if you’re willing, print your name in the Winter issue of Democratic Left so that you can inspire others by your example. For more information, call or write to DSA's National Director Maria Svart at (212) 727-8610 or msvart (at) dsausa.org.
Image: young DSAer with DSA tshirt, DSA button, red DSA bandana around his neck, smiling as he yells into a megaphone with a DSA sticker "People Over Profit" on it.
You’ve supported DSA through good times and bad, Our ideas are powerful. Your commitment to them hasn’t wavered. Keep the flame alive. Please help ensure the future now.
Images across top:
DSOC youth section crowd in late 70s (?)
Young DSAers and YDSers holding up red DSA banner (this summer)
There are many ways you can help guarantee DSA’s future
- Leave a specific amount or a percentage of your estate to DSA in your will
- Designate DSA as a primary or secondary beneficiary of your retirement plan
- Designate DSA as a beneficiary of an insurance policy
- Leave a home or real estate property to DSA
- Give a gift of cash or appreciated assets now that could have beneficial tax benefits to you
New DSA logo from website
national office contact info, photo credits