Planned Giving

Why make a planned gift?

Whether you want to make a difference in the services for the blind and visually impaired, help sustain long-term programming, receive income for yourself or your heirs, or simply for a tax advantage – making a planned gift is a good way to reach your financial and philanthropic goals. 

To make a difference in your community …
Our founder, William J. Ryan, had a vision. He articulated it as the ability of an individual who was blind to "stand up at the workbench and earn his daily bread." Though Mr. Ryan was visually impaired, he traveled across Maine as a farmer’s almanac salesman and saw others who were blind, kept at home and isolated from society. As a result of his determination and persistence, the Maine Institution for the Blind opened its doors in 1905. Today it is called The Iris Network. 

To keep the vision alive …
Helen Keller raised $1,000 to help launch the Maine Institution for the Blind, and even though our name has changed, our need for donor support is ever present. Thanks to the charitable gifts of many we still flourishes under the name The Iris Network. Please know that any gift, no matter how large or small, is appreciated at The Iris Network and will make a difference. 

How do I make a planned gift?

Join our visionary society …
The Iris Network’s Visionary Society honors those who are committed to a legacy of supporting future access and availability of vision rehabilitation and allied services for future Mainers experiencing significant vision loss or blindness. Membership is extended to those who have included The Iris Network in their wills or estate plans. Through their bequests or other planned gifts, members help future generations overcome the challenge of blindness and equip them to live their lives fully. 

Find the right strategy for you …
Including The Iris Network in your planned giving strategy is an important opportunity to make a significant and lasting contribution to those coping with vision loss. Consult with your attorney, estate planner, or financial advisor to determine the best strategy for you, your family and your favorite charities. These strategies might include gifts of appreciated assets (real estate or life insurance) or gifts that provide income during your lifetime (charitable trusts or gift annuities). 

Leave a legacy …
By naming The Iris Network in your will, you give the gift of independence to generations to come. It is a simple and effective way to ensure the future of the services you care about while providing tax benefits for your heirs. A bequest in your will is exempt from federal and state estate taxes and can be designated as a dollar amount, a percentage of your estate or a specific item or property. Your gift may be made as a general and unrestricted bequest or you can indicate a specific use. If you do have a specific purpose in mind, please consult with us to be sure that the gift can be used exactly as you wish. You may also designate your bequest as a memorial to a loved one. Sample language that can be used to make a bequest: "I give (______ dollars) or (__ percent of the residue of my estate) to The Iris Network or its charitable successor, for the benefit of The Iris Network and for its general purposes." 

Where should I send a planned gift?

To donate your stock, give your broker the information below to have stocks transferred to The Iris Network. 

When should I make a planned gift?

Planned gifts can be offered within your lifetime, to provide income for yourself or your heirs, as a tax advantage, or for a bequest to leave a legacy for future generations. 

Who should I call for questions?

The information provided here should not be considered tax or investment advice. Please call your broker for questions regarding setting up a planned gift. For general questions or to notify The Iris Network of a planned gift, please call Regal Naseef, Director of Development at (207) 518-5016 or email

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