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Planned Giving

Blanche Matthias Society

Blanche Matthias

“Don’t let glaucoma blind future generations as it has blinded me.” - Blanche Matthias

The Blanche Matthias Society, named in honor of our beloved financial founder, was established to specially acknowledge bequests and donors who notify us of planned giving, which is so critical to our mission.

Blanche Matthias was at the forefront in the fight against glaucoma. Born in Chicago in 1887, by all accounts she led a spirited, action-packed life. She fearlessly traveled to the far corners of the world, ardently championed the new art and artists of her day, and was even a published poet and essayist.

When diagnosed with the loss of vision in her second eye, she was determined to help Drs. Robert Shaffer, H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., and John Hetherington find hope for new treatments for their patients. A bequest in her will helped establish the Glaucoma Research Foundation — an institution that has been a beacon of hope nationally for more than 34 years.

A Legacy of Hope

There’s a little of the indomitable spirit of Blanche Matthias in all of us — a little of that capacity to make a big difference with a simple act of personal commitment.

Over the years, bequests to the Glaucoma Research Foundation have totaled more than $14 million — a major contribution toward helping us advance a cure.

The Blanche Matthias Society was created to:

  • Honor those who choose glaucoma research and education as their personal legacy by including GRF in their will or trust.
  • Provide a way to make a significant gift to GRF that’s not possible for some during their lifetime.
  • Assure GRF will continue to lead the search for a cure and provide excellent educational materials and outreach.
  • Celebrate Blanche Matthias — and all those like her — whose first priority is finding a cure for glaucoma.

The vital work we do depends almost solely on the contributions of individuals like you. The Glaucoma Research Foundation receives no government funding and the nature of the breakthrough research we pioneer is typically not funded by risk-averse government entities.

Become a Member

Becoming a member of The Blanche Matthias Society is an easy two-step process:

1. Estate Planning. Explore various ways to contribute through your estate and find the best option for your personal circumstances. When including Glaucoma Research Foundation in your will, it is important to use the specific language provided on our website, with any changes required by your local state law. You may use this language in the preparation of your planning, or you may use a simple codicil your attorney may add to your current will.

2. Notify us. We will acknowledge your membership and you will receive all the benefits of membership, including:

  • Acknowledgment in our Annual Report
  • Acknowledgment in an edition of our Gleams newsletter
  • Invitations to all events of The Catalyst Circle, including Catalyst Receptions, President’s Teleconferences, and more

Your Own Personal Legacy

The Glaucoma Research Foundation was established by a bequest from Blanche Matthias to make a profound difference in the lives of those affected by glaucoma. She was a champion for the cure, and a catalyst for the future. Your own personal legacy can sustain her vision, and write the next chapters of this fulfilling adventure.

To notify us of your planned bequest, please contact Nancy Graydon at ngraydon@glaucoma.org or (415) 986-3162 ext. 231. Thank you.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Glaucoma Research Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Glaucoma Research Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Glaucoma Research Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Glaucoma Research Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Glaucoma Research Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and a third party where you agree to make a gift to Glaucoma Research Foundation and they, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.