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Giving Through Your Will

Leave a legacy of investing in our communities

Giving through your will photoWe are pleased to work with you on donations to 501 Commons through your will or trust. While some information is provided below, 501 Commons recommends that you consult with your attorney about this giving option. Please contact Nancy Long for information about how your commitment can make a positive impact on individuals, families, and communities throughout Washington at

You can express your commitment to 501 Commons, through your estate planning, by making a bequest to benefit 501 Commons. Bequests are revocable and can be easily created by including one of the following paragraphs, or similar language recommended by your estate planning attorney, within your Last Will and Testament.

Please inform 501 Commons of your bequest by e-mailing This does not obligate you to follow-through on the bequest, which can be modified or removed from your will, but merely enables 501 Commons to acknowledge your generosity.

You can place one of the following statements in your will to indicate your intention to support 501 Commons:

Specific Bequest
“I give to 501 Commons of Seattle, Washington the sum of $_________ (OR all my right, title and interest in the following described property) to be used in such manner as the 501 Board of Directors shall, in its sole discretion, determine.”

Residuary Bequest
“I give to 501 Commons of Seattle, Washington the residue of my estate to be used in such manner as the 501 Commons board of Directors shall, in its sole discretion, determine.”

Proportional Bequest
“I give to 501 Commons of Seattle, Washington (a stated percentage or a fraction of the residue of my estate) to be used in such manner as the 501 Commons Board of Directors shall, in its sole discretion, determine.”

Contingent Bequest
“In the event that _______________ (name of spouse, child, sibling, etc.) shall not survive me, then I give the same to 501 Commons of Seattle, Washington to be used in such manner as the 501 Commons Board of Directors shall, in its sole discretion, determine.”

John Pehrson's Story

John Pehrson has had a long and enriching relationship with 501 Commons that had an interesting start. About three years after retiring from The Boeing Company as a program manager in 1988, John conferred with his former boss and Executive Service Corps of Washington (ESCWA) co-founder, Fred Maxwell, about a volunteer opportunity through ESCWA, which is 501 Commons’ antecedent. Boeing and the Washington State Schools Association were funding ESCWA’s effort to deploy and support skilled-volunteer teams of retired executives and education planners charged with helping school districts to design strategies to achieve a higher level of student achievement. The project lasted over a decade, helped the planning within 40 school districts across Washington, and was a great success.

John volunteered hundreds of hours, in service to Washington communities, by completing many more Executive Service Corps consulting projects. His exemplary communitarianism and leadership inspired the creation of the John Pehrson Award, which annually recognizes a Service Corp member for the “contribution of time and talent on multiple projects, as well as the willingness to go beyond expectations.”

“My work with 501 Commons was a wonderful transition from work to retirement,” John said. His Executive Service Corps volunteerism “opened doors to organizations that are important to him to this day.” John continued his commitment to public education with assignments with the Association of Washington State Principals, MESA Washington, the City of Seattle’s Families and Education Levy oversight, and the initiation of the Seattle Pre-school program.

John says that he “admires 501 Commons’ growth and success under the leadership of Nancy Long,” and asserts that strengthening hundreds of nonprofits, each year, is “vitally important to Washington communities.” His history with 501 Commons and deep appreciation of its mission moves John to make a significant annual financial contribution toward 501 Commons’ continuing progress. John “likes staying connected and pertinent to the organization” and contends that he “gets more out of being part of 501 Commons than he gives.”

In complementing his annual philanthropic commitment, John has made provision for 501 Commons to receive a “specific bequest” through his will that will be paid out over three to five years. John based his decision to donate, through his estate planning, on the following considerations:
  • He is fortunate to have resources beyond his family obligations that he can allocate in his estate.
  • The bequest celebrates the success and joy he experienced in the past, while positively affecting 501 Commons’ mission accomplishment now, as well as in the future.
  • It is easy to do.
Learn more about how you, too, can benefit people, families, and communities, throughout Washington and beyond, with a gift through your will. Read more about bequests; or, contact Nancy Long at