Join The Victory Circle Society

jump start your legacy today!


The Victory Circle Society is a legacy giving society designed to celebrate and honor those who remember the 500 Festival Foundation in their estate plans.

Whether through wills and bequests or by naming the Foundation as a beneficiary of their life insurance or retirement assets, donors who become members of this society will leave a charitable legacy to help ensure the future of the 500 Festival and the events and programs that make the Month of May in Indianapolis so special.

Benefits of Joining

Since 1957, the 500 Festival has driven the community forward through meaningful celebrations of the Indianapolis 500. Your membership in this society will enhance and grow this legacy for years to come. Even further, leaving a charitable legacy to the Foundation could also present tax advantages to both your estate and loved ones.

Recognizing The Victory Circle Society members is important to the 500 Festival Foundation. It gives the Foundation an opportunity to express our appreciation and may inspire others to support the Foundation. Members of The Victory Circle Society receive an invitation to special Festival and Foundation events and recognition in the Festival’s annual report.


Join Today!

Ways to Give

There are several ways to join and meet your philanthropic and legacy goals through planned giving. General information regarding the various types of planned gift vehicles is listed below, but we encourage you to consult your professional advisors to find the best option for you. There is no minimum gift amount required to join the society.

    The simplest way to leave a planned gift to the Foundation is to make a charitable gift (or bequest) in your will or living trust. Bequests can be a specific amount, percentage, or remainder of assets.

    Many donors who are looking for a smart and tax-advantaged way to make a gift to the Foundation choose to include a gift in their Will. A gift in your Will enables you to demonstrate your commitment to the future of the 500 Festival without impacting your current income. There are many wonderful reasons to leave a gift to the Foundation in your Will:
    1. It demonstrates your lasting support of the Foundation and Festival
    2. It costs you nothing now
    3. You create a lasting legacy 

    Ready to get started? If you already have a Will, it is not necessary to rewrite it to make a gift to the Foundation. You can simply instruct your attorney to prepare a codicil, or amendment, to your current documents. While we advise legal consultation, sample language for a bequest may be stated as follows:

    I give and bequeath the sum of $      (OR       percent of the rest, residual, and remainder of my estate) to 500 Festival Foundation, Inc., an Indiana non-profit corporation and IRS 501(c)(3) public charity EIN: 35-1961814, to be added to its endowment fund and invested and dispersed in accordance with the policies of the Foundation. 

    This form of charitable planned giving is a little more complicated but can be advantageous for those in their retirement years. A charitable gift annuity (usually cash or stock gifts, but also now IRA Rollover) allows you to support the Foundation while receiving a tax deduction and fixed flow of income for the rest of your life. Payments depend on age at the time of donation.

    Not everyone wants to commit to making a gift in their Will. Some donors prefer the increased flexibility that a beneficiary designation provides. A beneficiary designation is another easy way to make a charitable gift to the Foundation and allows you to make a substantial gift, often larger than what you could afford during your lifetime.

    You can designate the Foundation as a beneficiary of all or part of your retirement plan assets, insurance policies, and even your donor-advised fund by completing a form from your account provider, which is separate from your Will or trust. Not only is it an easy way to give, but it is also flexible—you can review and adjust your beneficiary designations at any time.

      Types of beneficiary designations:
    1. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and qualified retirement plans, like a 401(k) or a 403(b), are some of the smartest assets to leave to charity. Donors are often surprised to learn that the retirement fund assets they hoped to pass to their heirs are among the most heavily taxed in their estates. Designating the Foundation as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of all or a specified percentage of your 401(k) or other retirement plan assets, is a smart, tax-wise way to give.
    2. Life insurance offers another option if you are looking for a way to make a bigger gift than possible during your lifetime. Consider designating the Foundation as the owner and/or the beneficiary of a life insurance policy —either a new policy or an existing one that you and your family no longer need.
    3. A donor-advised fund with your local community foundation or sponsoring organization provides another smart giving opportunity. You can both recommend grants to the Foundation and name the Foundation as beneficiary to receive all or part of the fund after your lifetime.

    Not all gifts to the Victory Circle Society occur later. Similar to a charitable gift annuity, through a charitable remainder trust you receive an immediate tax deduction and lifetime income for you and your named beneficiary, and the amount that remains in the trust will support the Foundation. Using a charitable remainder trust enables you to donate more complex property into the trust. Please consult your professional advisor for the next steps.

    If you meet the age for a required minimum distribution, you can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to the Foundation without having to pay income taxes on the money.

    Making a gift through a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your individual retirement account (IRA) is a smart way to help strengthen the legacy of the Festival well into the future.

    Beginning at age 72, retirement account holders are required to make annual withdrawals from their IRAs, known as required minimum distributions (RMDs). Those assets are then considered income and are taxable for Federal income tax purposes. A QCD from your IRA may satisfy your minimum distribution requirement while reducing your taxable income.

    Donors can choose to gift their RMD amount, or any amount up to $100,000 ($200,000 if married) annually by instructing their account administrator to make a transfer to the Foundation.

    If you’re at least 59 ½ years old, you can take a distribution from your IRA without penalty and use it to make a gift to the Foundation. If you itemize your deductions, you may qualify for a charitable deduction for the amount of your gift.

    Stocks and other securities offer a tax-advantaged way to support the Foundation. Depending upon your personal tax circumstances, you may be able to reduce your taxable income or receive a charitable deduction by transferring stock to the Foundation. Contact your bank or broker to jump-start your legacy - transfer instructions can be found here.

    Donor-Advised Funds offer you the flexibility to recommend how much and how often funds are granted to the Foundation. Please consult your professional advisor for the next steps. 500 Festival Foundation Federal Tax ID: 35-196184


Contact Christine Swarm, 500 Festival Foundation Executive Director