Legacy Giving

When you include a gift for Room to Read in your will…

Your generosity becomes the words that girls will use to express themselves and build lives of their own choosing. Your compassion becomes the stories that young learners will hold in their hearts and share with their own children. Most importantly, your thoughtfulness becomes a better life for every student, family, and community that we reach, both now and for years to come.

Your support is their success. Their triumph is your legacy.


Stories from our Legacy Community

Stories from our Legacy Community

"If you are looking for a way to have a profound, positive impact on global education, that costs you nothing now, I highly recommend including Room to Read in your will. It is the most impactful way to invest in a brighter future for all and with Room to Read offering supporters a free tool to create or update their will, I found it to be very rewarding and surprisingly easy."

- Craig Herb, Room to Read supporter since 2007

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Need Assistance? Just ask.

Establishing Your Legacy is Easy

With charitable gift planning, you can create a legacy gift that will extend your support for years to come. It's simple to structure your gift to maximize its benefits in a way that is most favorable to you, your loved ones and the organizations you choose.

For assistance please contact Caitlin Nagel, our Legacy Giving Manager, at legacy@roomtoread.org or follow the steps below.

Step-by-Step Guide to Legacy Giving

Creating a legacy gift allows you to designate your investment to the work you are most passionate about. Most of our supporters choose to invest in our greatest need.

To learn more about your investment options, please e-mail Caitlin Nagel, our Legacy Giving Manager at legacy@roomtoread.org.

If you choose not to designate your investment, it will go towards Room to Read's Future Fund, ensuring your gift is used for maximum possible impact as part of our operational reserves that strengthen our ability to continue our mission in an unpredictable future. The Future Fund enables our organization to be nimble, ensures protection against the unexpected and gives us the financial flexibility to identify, test and invest in new, even more efficient approaches to delivering our programs to the children who need them most.

A bequest, or gift made through your will, is the most common type of legacy gift.

Gifts in Wills – One of the simplest and most effective ways you can ensure that education endures for children experiencing deep educational and economic inequities – not just now, but always – is by including Room to Read in your will or trust.

A gift in your will can be a percentage of your estate or a specific dollar amount and your gift may be in the form of cash, stocks or bonds.

We have partnered with FreeWill to make it easy and accessible to make plans for your will and create a legacy gift. Their free service allows Room to Read supporters who are based in the US to create a will at no cost, plan for their loved ones and establish a legacy of impact in the process. Create your will and legacy gift here for free.

If you are donating outside of the US, please visit our Ways to Give page and select the country you are donating from to find information about Legacy Giving in your country. If you are based in Hong Kong, please visit our partnered platform at Forever Gift to create your will for free.

Suggested language for adding a gift in your will:

“I give, devise and bequeath to Room to Read, a nonprofit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Washington, with its principal place of business address at Room to Read, 465 California Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94104 and tax ID number 91-2003533, [the sum of $_____________] or [_________% of my estate] for its general purposes”

Beneficiary Designations – Your retirement plans, life insurance policies and annuities can all help bring quality educational opportunities to the children who need them most. You can designate Room to Read as the primary beneficiary for a percentage or specified amount of the policy or name us as a contingent beneficiary. If you are donating from the US, click here to plan your beneficiary designations for free.

Consult your financial advisor or, if you are donating from the US, visit our trusted partners at FreeWill to create your legal will for free.

Make sure to tell us that you have included a gift for us in your will!

In honor of your investment in Room to Read’s future, we would love to show our appreciation by recognizing your gift and including you in our exclusive legacy benefits. However, we understand if you prefer to remain anonymous.

Download the Legacy Giving Guide

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To notify us of a gift or ask questions about Legacy Giving, please contact us.

Stories from our Legacy Community

Joanne in Venice
For Joanne Bethlahmy, education was the key to accessing the beauty and wonder of the world. Her wanderlust was ignited at 11 years old when she traveled extensively with her family. In college, she explored much of Europe while also earning a degree in history. In her postgraduate studies, she graduated near the top of her class from Hastings College of Law while also earning an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkley. These degrees led Joanne into a successful career in marketing and business strategy, making new friends wherever she went, challenging herself daily and earning accolades and praise from clients and colleagues regularly.

Joanne lived life to the fullest and was certainly the embodiment of charting one’s own path. It was not lost on her that the education and life skills that allowed her to achieve so much were denied to so many children, especially girls, around the world.

Joanne was passionate about opportunities for women, literacy, and reading, and she focused her charitable giving in these spaces. As a detail-oriented person, Joanne made sure to have an up-to-date will in place and researched several non-profits carefully before deciding which organizations to include in her plans.

Joanne lived an incredibly rich life and was surrounded by the love of her close friends and family when she peacefully passed away in October 2020. One of the gifts she included in her will was designated for Room to Read’s greatest need, providing more than 16,000 students with essential literacy and education equality support.

Joanne’s brilliance and passion live on in the students whose lives are forever improved by her gift, as well as in her closest friends and family, who remember her creative spirit, loyalty to loved ones, commitment to quality, excellence in everything she did, and especially, her kindness.

Special thanks to Pat Williams for sharing these lovely memories of her dear friend, Joanne Bethlahmy.

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