We recently shared some great news about the JCC, and this positive change has made us reflect.

Like many people during major shifts in their lives (marriage, kids, retirement) we’ve been thinking a lot about the future—about legacy.

The JCC, the JCC Ranch Camp, and the Mizel Arts and Culture Center were recently accepted to participate in a ground-breaking legacy giving program, the Live On | Life & Legacy program—a four-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Rose Community Foundation.

We asked our Donor Stewardship Coordinator, Pamela Kalinowski, some questions about the program and what this means for the future of the JCC, the JCC Ranch Camp, and the Mizel Arts and Culture Center.


So why is the Live On | Life & Legacy program a big deal?

Pamela Kalinowski: This program has had such an enormous impact on the future of Jewish communities across the country. By training Jewish organizations to secure legacy gifts—which are gifts left in wills, trusts, retirement plans, and similar instruments—the Live On | Life & Legacy program has already helped participating organizations secure over half a billion dollars for Jewish communities. Participating in this program gives us a chance to offer donors the opportunity to change lives forever. I think that’s absolutely incredible. A legacy gift can be one of the most powerful gifts you ever give.

Is it difficult to make a legacy gift?

PK: It doesn’t have to be! It can be as easy as revising beneficiary designations. You can also make a legacy gift through a will or trust. There are many options to choose from. I would advise anyone interested in making a legacy gift to consult with an attorney or financial advisor. These professionals can simplify the process for you, especially if your needs or goals are a little more complex.

How are legacy gifts different from regular donations?

PK: Legacy gifts give you a special chance to reach into the future and shape lives not for dozens, but for hundreds of years. Unlike regular donations, legacy gifts are self-sustaining. These gifts are used to build our endowment funds, from which we receive an annual income. Even modest gifts produce a steady flow of income year after year, for as long as they exist. So, by giving a legacy gift, you will make it possible for the JCC to continue its programs and serve the community for generations to come. And if you commit to a legacy gift to the JCC, Ranch Camp, or the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, you will join our society of Legacy Champions!

legacy gifts

It seems like legacy gifts can make powerful, long-term impacts, but aren’t they just for wealthy people?

PK: Anyone can leave a legacy gift. Even someone who doesn’t have a lot to give right now can leave a truly amazing gift. Take me, for example. I still have a bundle of student loans and I’m not exactly living the Don Draper, Sterling Cooper, uber-wealthy life. But I don’t have to be. By changing the beneficiary designations on my life insurance policy, I was able to make sure I left enough money to take care of my loved ones and leave legacy gifts to four organizations that really mattered to me, including our own Mizel Arts and Culture Center. Those gifts didn’t affect my income, or my lifestyle, in any way. And there are other ways to give meaningful legacy gifts that will help the organizations you care about thrive for generations to come.

What if someone is ready to give a legacy gift?

PK: That’s great! Anyone who intends to name the JCC, Ranch Camp, or the Mizel Arts and Culture Center in their will, trust, insurance policy, or retirement plan (or if they already have), can download our Declaration of Commitment form and send the completed form to me using the address located below:

Pamela Kalinowski, Donor Stewardship Coordinator


350 South Dahlia Street

Denver, CO 80246

I can’t wait to say thank you and welcome you to our society of Legacy Champions!

We can’t thank Pamela enough for taking the time to explain the benefits of our legacy gift program. We love to hear and see everything Development has to offer.

Have more questions about legacy gifts? Contact Pamela Kalinowski at pkalinowski@jccdenver.org.