THE GOLDEN ERA OF ATHLETES ON SOCIAL MEDIA Out of the Dark and Onto the Web
It’s not an overstatement to say that social media has revolutionized the way we live our lives today. But with that massively powerful platform comes a massive responsibility, especially if you’re already in the spotlight. Athletes have taken the opportunity social media affords them to build their personal brands and engage in community outreach with the fans who look to them as role models, but there’s a downside to cataloging years of unfiltered thoughts on the internet. For better or worse, social media is here to stay, and we have full access to all the drama that unfolds for our entertainment. Despite the web’s potential for good, some pros can’t seem to get the message that every post falls under the scrutiny of the public. PR firms representing players have now made it a top priority to keep their clients’ images in line by scrubbing old posts that could be offensive and land them in hot water. Still, though, it seems like there’s a new controversy every week. One of the best examples comes courtesy of former football star“Johnny Football”Manziel. The former HeismanTrophy winner was notorious for posting embarrassing images of himself partying when he should have been practicing, and he often blasted his private issues in public, seemingly
with no filter. He’s out of a job now, most recently having been banned from the Canadian Football League. For every bad apple, though, there is a bushel of athletes who use their platforms for the greater good. HoustonTexans defensive end J.J. Watt, five-time Pro Bowler and NFL star, has used his social media“juice”to spread the word about his charity, raising over $4.6 million for youth athletic programs and organizations.
Philanthropy aside, part of the beauty of celebrity social media is that the people who seem so much larger than life become accessible because of it. In decades past, you might have written a letter that, if you were fortunate, got a response from some unpaid intern. Today, fans can reach out directly to their favorite athletes. It is a personal connection unparalleled in history. What a time to be alive.
Leaving a Legacy of Giving MAKING CHARITY A PART OF YOUR ESTATE PLAN
Your estate plan is far more than just a set of documents. It’s a declaration of what you find most important and a roadmap of the legacy you’d like to leave. Not only does a proper estate plan ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone, but it also allows you to make an impact on the wider world through charitable giving. Many avenues exist for making planned gifts to nonprofits, but here are some of the basics on how to make giving a part of your plan.
notify an organization about what you are planning to give. Smaller philanthropies may not accept complex assets, such as stocks or real estate. On the other hand, some charities may specialize in specific assets. For example, if your home is considered a historic site within your town, you may want to gift it to a preservation society so that it stays properly maintained.
DECIDE HOW TO GIVE
NAME A CHARITY IN YOURWILL
There are different ways to structure a charitable bequest, giving you the flexibility to make sure your estate planning goals are met. If you have a set sum of money or a particular asset you wish to leave to a charity, you can make a specific bequest in your will. However, if you want to ensure your loved one’s needs are met before giving a portion of your estate to charity, you can make what’s known as a residuary gift. With a residuary gift, once debts have been paid off and your other beneficiaries have received their bequests, a specified percentage of your remaining estate will go to a charity of your choice.
The most basic way to give to a charity is by naming it in your will. Simply name the charitable organization you wish to support among your beneficiaries, and specify the assets you wish to give. If estate or income taxes are a concern, ensure your chosen organization is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit. These are the charities the IRS deems tax-exempt.
MATCH THE ASSETS TO THE CHARITY Almost all charities will accept cash bequests, though
Depending on your income level and the kinds of assets in your estate, more complex means of making a planned gift may be available to you. Talk to your estate planner to see if creating a charitable trust or establishing a foundation is the right move for you.
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