Kentucky’s Louisville Orchestra has launched a new estate-planning website, a comprehensive online toolkit that will allow patrons to explore in depth gifts to the orchestra through wills, trusts, bequests, and annuities. The site will allow users to calculate estimated tax benefits, annual annuity income, and compare benefits among different types of giving vehicles; there are 17 detailed brochures on more than 250 estate-planning topics. The online gift calculator provides financial modeling based on an individual’s specific circumstances and potential gift amounts, including advice dispensed by age categories of under 40, 40-54, 55-69, and 70 and older. “Over time,” said C.E.O. Robert Birman, “there is only one solution to keeping the orchestra’s education and community-engagement programs vibrant—as well as to keeping ticket prices affordable. That is building a robust endowment from which the Orchestra can draw annual support.” The orchestra reports that its current endowment is valued at nearly $10 million, but that industry “best practices” suggest that it should be closer to $25 million.

Posted September 18, 2009