Endowing a Legacy for the Future

Thanks to the generosity of numerous donors, the Pepper Foundation has been able to carry on as a living legacy to the extraordinary man who gave it life and vitality. If Claude Pepper’s aspirations were allowed to die with him, his life’s purposes would be nullified. The Foundation he created has one overriding mission: to see that this never happens.

Toward this important objective, the Foundation is embarking on an ambitious venture to realize a dream that will ensure that the spirit of this great man and his important work endure. The creation of the Claude Pepper Center commemorates and builds upon the accomplishments of Pepper’s five decades of public service, and provides a fitting permanent home for the Claude Pepper Library, the Claude Pepper Museum, and the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. The ultimate success of the Pepper Center will depend upon the generous help of private benefactors like you.

The income from an endowment provided to build upon the legacy of Claude Pepper will be used to fund Pepper Center and Pepper Foundation projects, including educational programs and exhibitions of the Pepper Library and the Pepper Museum. Our success is dependent upon private support. The Foundation offers to certain donors the honor of naming a wing, a room, a program or a collection in the Pepper Center facility.

All gifts to the Foundation are of major significance, but gifts to our endowment – the deep reserves through which we fund endowed chairs, endowed scholarships and fellowships, and endowed new programs – are most helpful and most lasting. We invite your consideration of such a gift to the Pepper Foundation.

Endowment Gifts Create a Legacy for the Future

The Pepper Foundation endowment was first established with funds provided by Claude Pepper to carry on his and Mildred Pepper’s lifetime work. Their gift has since been supplemented by a bequest and funds from both private and public sources. Income from this endowment is used to support the programs in health care, research and scholarship into issues of the aging, support for education at all levels in the state and nation and encouragement of leadership and public service in the American democracy.

Because of the Foundation’s close connection with Florida State University, the State of Florida makes matching funds available through its State University system for gifts to create endowed chairs and endowed funds for students and for new programs. These gifts usually are based on a 60 per cent commitment from a private donor who is then matched by a 50 to 100 per cent contribution from a state fund maintained for that purpose.

Yet it should be noted that the private gift must come first to achieve a match. Endowed chairs valued at $1 million within the Pepper Center and the Institute on Aging and Public Policy can be established by a gift of $600,000 from private donors. Endowed scholarships and fellowships can be established by a gift of $100,000 or more from private donors.

Gifts to endowment are like no other gifts to the Foundation. They are permanent, and provide a solid basis for planning for the future. Because the Foundation uses the interest from endowment gifts and preserves the principal, they are the gifts that keep on giving to the worthwhile causes the Foundation itself supports all across America.

These uses of the income from the Foundation’s endowment keep the legacy of the Peppers alive and growing and promise to produce some of the most meaningful research and teaching on aging and its consequences available in the nation.

Those who make a gift to the endowment today will be a part of that growth of knowledge and understanding for the nation’s aging population.

Return on Investment from an Annual Gift to the Pepper Foundation

The Pepper Foundation seeks annual support from donors to build on the legacy of Senator and Mrs. Pepper. Thanks to the generosity of numerous donors, the Pepper Foundation has been able to move forward as a living legacy to the extraordinary man and woman who gave it life, vitality and a strong economic start.

For example, an annual gift can help:

Educate elders about public policy issues that impact their lives and about effective advocacy

Serve as a conduit for assistance to other groups and programs that help individuals, particularly those programs that ease the burden on elderly citizens

Sponsor or convene groups of experts to analyze public policy issues

Maintain and add to the Claude Pepper Library, one of the most significant political historical collections in the nation as well as an outreach program providing many educational and public interest programs

Participate in creating intergenerational programs to bring the elderly and the young together in settings which foster mutual understanding

Develop and sponsor the Claude Pepper Museum in the Pepper Center on the FSU campus, and a traveling exhibit that travels to sites all over the country to bring whole new generations information about the Peppers and their many vital causes.

Donors may make annual gifts to the Foundation in various forms, including outright cash donations, appreciated property and securities, gifts in kind or bequests.

Planning a Gift to the Pepper Foundation

Prospective donors to the Mildred and Claude Pepper Foundation may wish to consider the range of gift mechanisms, which federal and state tax laws allow and encourage. These include:

OUTRIGHT GIFTS: These gifts are exactly what their name implies: a direct transfer of funds from the donor to the Foundation. Gifts in this category can include gifts of cash, securities, tangible personal property that has increased in value since its purchase, and appreciated real estate. Donors can deduct the gift amount for such gifts up to 50 per cent of their gross income, and should the gift total exceed the deductible ceiling, the remainder can be carried over to succeeding tax years, up to five years. With careful planning, nearly every outright gift to the Foundation can be fully deducted.

GIFTS THROUGH BEQUESTS: One of the easiest and most common ways to make a gift to the Foundation is through a bequest in the donor’s will. Tax laws encourage bequests, and this form of giving is particularly well designed for those who are unable to make immediate outright gifts, but would like to aid the Foundation as it addresses the issues of aging and health in the future. Bequests may take the form of specific bequests, a residuary bequest, contingent bequests, or testamentary trusts. Members of the staff of the Pepper Foundation would be pleased to discuss the ways and means of making gifts through bequests to support the work of the Foundation.

LIFE INCOME GIFTS: Life income gifts allow donors to give and receive at the same time, thus making it possible for donors to give more to charitable causes than they could out of current income or savings. In many cases, donors can create trust instruments that allow them to receive income from the gift while receiving tax credit for the larger amount. Life income agreements can be developed with the Foundation through annuity trusts, unitrusts and gift annuities. Tax advisors and attorneys should be consulted in the structuring of such gifts.

It is important for prospective donors to note that the ways in which they contribute to the Foundation determines the tax benefits. All gifts to the Foundation are deductible within the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service, but we advise donors to consult with legal and financial advisors as they plan gifts through any of these mechanisms.

All gifts to the Pepper Foundation are tax-deductible within the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

Become a Member of the Foundation

The Claude Pepper Foundation encourages everyone interested in our work to become a member of the Foundation. Members are recognized on the stunning Tree of Life, which is located in the foyer of the Claude Pepper Center.

Pepper Foundation Tree of Life

Depending on the level of contribution, donor names are engraved on a gold, silver, or bronze leaf; a brass acorn; or a foundation stone. Memorial contributions are encouraged. Donations may be made in various forms including cash, property, securities, gifts-in-kind, or bequests.

For additional information on how you can support the activities of the Foundation, please refer to the Foundation Support page on our web site.

Membership Levels


$50,000 and over – Large Foundation Stone

$25,000 – $50,000 – Standard Foundation Stone

$10,000 – $25,000 – Small Foundation Stone Patron

$5,000 – $10,000 – Bronze Acorn at Base of Tree

$1,000 – $5,000 – Gold Recognition Leaf Friend

$500 – $1,000 – Bronze Recognition Leaf

$100 – $500 – Silver Recognition Leaf

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