Building a Strong Future For Our Community

Audrey Koh

Audrey Koh, M.D., has witnessed progress in the fight for equal rights throughout the years. But she knows the importance of building a strong foundation to secure our community's future.

By Audrey Koh, M.D.

As a young adult, I barely heard the word "lesbian." There was little representation of people like me in the media beyond garish stereotypes. There were few meeting places beyond lesbian bars or gay dance clubs. There were no children conceived by lesbian couples or gay men couples.

We have come a long way. In this millennium, the struggle toward legalized marriage equality has finally been won. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe it; I feel so fortunate to have been part of a civil rights process that is actually working!

Despite the many triumphs of our community, the march to equality is not yet over. Many in our LGBTQ community, even here in the Bay Area, continue to face discrimination, violence, poverty, and isolation. And since last year's election, we've seen that the rights we've fought so hard to secure are, once again, under attack. Our future is hard to predict.

That's why I support Horizons Foundation's Now and Forever Campaign and its visionary goal of identifying more than $100 million in future legacy gifts by Horizons' 40th Anniversary year in 2020. These gifts will help ensure the future for generations of LGBTQ people to live lives of pride, dignity, justice, and joy.

While $100 million seems like an ambitious goal, it is entirely within our reach. Collectively, LGBTQ people own more than $35 billion in Bay Area real estate alone. If even a fraction of our community left some of that wealth to Horizons, our entire community would reap benefits for years to come.

This campaign will help Horizons continue to strengthen hundreds of organizations that do the day-to-day work that secures the rights, meets the needs, and celebrates the lives of LGBTQ people. It will ensure that young people thrive in safe and supportive environments, that our elders can age with dignity, and that we can safeguard and expand the gains we've fought so hard to win. It will ensure that we have the funding to tackle unanticipated challenges to our community.

No one can predict the future. But together, we can build a strong foundation that will secure our community now — and forever.

There are many ways you can help us reach our goal by 2020 and help secure our community's future. To learn how, contact Deb Stallings at 415.398.2333 x103 or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Horizons 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 give to Horizons Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 550 Montgomery Street, Suite 700 San Francisco, CA 94111 , or its successor thereto, ______________* [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 Horizons 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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 Horizons as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 Horizons 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 Horizons where you agree to make a gift to Horizons and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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