The Robert Means Thompson Society

Legacy Society LogoWhat is the Robert Means Thompson Society?
The Robert Means Thompson Society, named for one of the Academy's first and most significant philanthropists, honors alumni and friends who have included the Naval Academy Foundation in their estate plans. Since its founding in 1996 the Society has grown to more than 500 members.

How do I join the Robert Means Thompson Society?
If you have provided for the future of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation with a gift in your will, trust, IRA account, 401(k), 403(b), or life insurance policy or with a life income gift, you are invited to become a member of the Robert Mean Thompson Society. If your existing legacy intention or planned gift information is not already included in our records, please contact the planned giving office or complete our RMTS Membership Form.

If you have not included the Foundation in your plans and you would like to explore the best options for you and your family, please contact the planned giving office. We would be happy to provide a confidential forum to discuss your options without obligation.

Why should I join the Robert Means Thompson Society?
The most important benefit you will receive from joining the Robert Means Thompson Society is the satisfaction of knowing you are making a lasting contribution to the Foundation in its work in support of the Naval Academy. In addition, joining gives us an opportunity to thank you for your commitment, invite you to special events, and, with your permission, recognize you in our donor reports and invite you to occasional special events.

Who was Robert Means Thompson?
Robert Means Thompson, USNA class of 1868, is considered by many to be one of the Academy's greatest philanthropists. As a member of the Academy's Board of Visitors in the 1890s, he urged a thorough review of the Academy's physical assets and engaged Earnest Flagg as the architect for the modern Naval Academy, encouraging Flagg to design Bancroft Hall so that it could be expanded. Thompson also commissioned the design for the Naval Academy Chapel's bronze doors, paid for them, and donated them to the Academy as a gift from the Class of 1868. He was an ardent supporter of the Academy's sports programs, founding the Naval Academy Athletic Association and establishing the Thompson Trophy for athletic excellence.


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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.

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