Young Donor’s Passion for International Study Translates Into Gift for Naval Academy

Brook StevensBrook Stevens defies most people's perceptions of what a Naval Academy donor should look like. First, he's not a Naval Academy graduate-and no one in his family is, either. Stevens was a midshipman at one point, but his growing interest in international study led him to leave the Academy after his youngster year to enroll in the University of San Diego, which offered a more robust array of international immersion experiences available to a larger percentage of the student body.

Then there's his age. Stevens, originally a member of the Naval Academy Class of 2012, is only 24-an age when most of his peers are still more concerned about paying for college and related loans than giving back to one.

While Stevens found a better fit for a place to complete his education, he still believes in the Academy and its mission. In addition to his contribution to the annual fund, Stevens has also made the Naval Academy Foundation the beneficiary of a portion of his life insurance policy and 401(k) plan. His planned gift arrangements direct the proceeds specifically to support the Academy's international programs.

"I'm a financial advisor with Millennial Capital Partners, an advisory firm that focuses on the millennial generation," said Stevens, a California native who now lives in New York City. "Every day I assist clients with their investments and estate-planning needs, helping them to arrange their financial lives so they are prepared for the events life brings. I also advise them on incorporating charitable giving into their plans. Daily conversations about how my clients could give back caused me to think about my own giving decisions and what I was passionate enough to focus my giving on. I realized just how much I wanted future midshipmen to have more options in terms of international study than I did. As a result I designated my planned gift arrangements specifically to benefit international programs."

Stevens includes many Naval Academy alumni among his clients. He encourages incorporating charitable giving as early as his clients are able and directing those funds to organizations, causes, or movements that they are truly passionate about-and for many of them, the Naval Academy ranks high on that list. Stevens believes that it is essential for his clients to establish a giving relationship in the beginning stages of their careers.

"Beyond the potential tax benefits, incorporating charitable giving into any household is a worthwhile cause," he said. "Building a giving relationship is not only the moral thing to do but it is also a great tradition. For example, if you have children, teach them about the importance of giving back by allotting a portion of your giving that they are allowed to direct to something they are passionate about. It's a great way to start the conversation early."

Let's hope that in many of his clients' households, that tradition of giving will focus as Brook's giving has-on the Naval Academy.


© United States Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the United States Naval Academy Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to the United States Naval Academy Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 274 Wood Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Naval Academy Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Naval Academy Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Naval Academy Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Naval Academy Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Naval Academy Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.