Gifts in Wills or Beneficiary Designations

Support future generations of athletes with a gift that costs you nothing now.

You can help create an inclusive future for all with a gift in your will or by beneficiary designation. Your gift costs you nothing now, and you can change your mind at any time.

 Please let us know if you’ve included a gift for Special Olympics in your will or through a beneficiary designation. Providing us with documentation is the best way to ensure that your gift is used in the way you intend.

Gifts in a Will

I want my estate to contribute to the welfare of improving people’s lives, so that they can experience the joy of receiving a medal, the camaraderie of team sports, and get needed health care. If I achieve that, then I have left an indelible mark on society.

– Officer Tracy Grady, member of The Champion’s Society®

A gift in your will is one of the easiest ways to create your legacy and offers the following benefits:



Costs you nothing now to give in this way.



You can alter your gift or change your mind at any time and for any reason.



Your gift will create your legacy of inclusion now and for generations to come.

Here are several simple ways to include a gift in your will:

  • A specific bequest is a gift of a specific sum of money or item of property. For example, “I give a sum of $25,000 to Special Olympics,” or “I give my antique desk to my niece, Sarah.”
  • Another common way of leaving a gift to charity while leaving the majority of assets to loved ones is a residuary bequest: “I give the balance of my estate (or some percentage of the remainder of my estate) after all other bequests are satisfied, to Special Olympics.”
  • A contingent bequest is a gift made on condition that a certain event occurs. This kind of bequest is often used to leave gifts to charity. For example, “I give $25,000 to my friend Christina, if she survives me — or, if not, to Special Olympics.”
If You Have a Loved One with Special Needs:

Retirement plans have their own planning considerations, which may be different if your beneficiary is an adult child with special needs. People who have a loved one with special needs should seek advice before creating or updating their estate plans, including beneficiary designations to ensure that their loved one is provided for. Adults with special needs who are named as beneficiaries of retirement plans may become ineligible for programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid after their parents’ death. If you have a family member with special needs, it’s critical to work with an experienced attorney to determine the best way to create your estate plan, ensure your loved one’s needs are met for their lifetime and allocate your assets.

Remainder Beneficiary of Special Needs Trust:
A special needs trust, sometimes called a supplemental needs trust, holds assets for a special needs beneficiary in order to supplement the beneficiary’s income without impacting eligibility to receive other benefits. Depending on the type of special needs trust, you may be able to name Special Olympics as a remainder beneficiary of the trust. Special Olympics would only receive funds remaining, if any, after the individual beneficiary’s lifetime. Please discuss your options with your attorney to determine if this may be an option for you. You can download our publication “Planning When Someone You Love Has Special Needs” here.

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

Naming Special Olympics as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance policy, donor-advised fund or other financial account is a simple way to have an enormous impact.

Gifts by beneficiary designation are straightforward. They do not require a visit to a lawyer, and you can change or update your beneficiaries at any time.

Simply request a change of beneficiary form from your plan administrator and add Special Olympics as a full or partial beneficiary. You can often do this by logging into your account online.

Be sure to clearly designate our organization: Special Olympics International (or a specific Special Olympics chapter affiliate).

Include our Federal Tax ID number: 52-0889518 (or the tax number of designated chapter affiliate; email us for more information).

By naming Special Olympics as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance policy, donor-advised fund or other financial account, you will empower athletes on the playing field and in life for generations to come. And it will be your legacy of acceptance, inclusion and tolerance for the world.

When it came time for my husband and me to update our will, following the birth of our son, including Special Olympics as a beneficiary was a no-brainer. I know, because I’ve seen it countless times, that our gift will have a meaningful, life-changing impact that will have a ripple effect across communities.

– Shira Mitchell, member of The Champion’s Society®

Potential benefits of gifts by beneficiary designation:


Reduce or eliminate taxes for your heirs


Reduce or avoid probate fees


No cost to you now to give


Create your legacy of inclusion with Special Olympics

Types of Gifts

A gift of retirement funds

This option is becoming increasingly popular. Naming Special Olympics as a beneficiary of your retirement plan can be an attractive option for creating a legacy while reducing income and possibly estate taxes for your loved ones. Since Special Olympics is a tax-exempt organization, naming us as a beneficiary means that 100 percent of your gift will go toward empowering athletes for years to come.

A gift of life insurance

You can name Special Olympics as a beneficiary of all or a portion of your life insurance policy. With this gift arrangement, Special Olympics will receive the proceeds of your policy after your lifetime. You can change your beneficiary at any time and may reduce your estate taxes.

This gift is easy to arrange — simply request a beneficiary designation form from your plan administrator.

A gift of funds from a financial account

This is one of the easiest ways to make a real difference for athletes with intellectual disabilities. The next time you visit your bank, you can name Special Olympics as the beneficiary of a checking or savings bank account, a certificate of deposit (CD) or a brokerage account. When you do, you’ll help create a better world, on and off the field, for people with intellectual disabilities.

Funds remaining in your donor-advised fund

What remains in a donor-advised fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. When you establish a DAF, consider naming Special Olympics as a “successor” of your account or a portion of your account value to create your legacy of acceptance and inclusion.

Complimentary Gift Planning Resources Are Just a Click Away

Questions? I'm here to help.

Connie Grandmason

Connie Grandmason

Senior Director
Office of Planned Giving

Special Olympics
(202) 536-5541, or toll free (866) 690-3951
 Arrange an appointment with me