Alexis de Tocqueville Society


You support what you’re passionate about. You make a big impact. And you want to do so in the smartest way. Join our group of visionary leaders in the nationally recognized Alexis de Tocqueville Society.

The local Tocqueville Society, with United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties, is a dedicated group of philanthropists who are at the forefront of creating positive change and tackling our community’s toughest issues. Membership is open to individuals and couples who contribute $10,000 or more annually.

The Tocqueville Society provides an easy, secure way to support your community and all of the causes that you care about.  Tocqueville Society members leave at least $2,500 per year to help our United Way address urgent, local needs.  All donations above that amount may be left with our experts to invest in local, high performing non-profits or may be designated to any organization recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization (a 501(c)3 or faith-based organization).  Part of our service is to check to ensure that each designated agency is in good standing with the IRS and meets the Patriot Act (doesn’t fund terrorism) before we transmit your scheduled designations to agencies.

Benefits of Tocqueville Giving

  • Our major donor concierge provides customized support for your giving decisions—on the phone or by e-mail, Carol is available to assist.
  • A secure, online portal provides real-time access to your giving history and the payouts of any designated gifts. You may also submit additional donations online, specify your designations using an agency search, and upload attachments with specific instructions for processing your gift.
  • Access to exclusive events for Tocqueville Society members
  • Invitations to special events
  • Opportunities for family-friendly volunteer events and other ways to engage in helping others
  • Ongoing briefs describing the impacts of your giving in our community
  • Print and electronic recognition of your generosity (optional)

A Centralized, Streamlined Service to Support Your Philanthropy

Simplify your charitable giving while maximizing your tax savings.  The Tocqueville Society is a convenient, safe, flexible way to manage your charitable giving.  Most donor-advised funds charge from .5% to 1% of the fund balance plus an annual administration fee and fees for credit card transactions and other services.  Our United Way applies a service fee of only $288 per year to cover all expenses associated with your Tocqueville account, regardless of how many donations you make during the year or how much you give.

There are many ways that you can give through the Tocqueville Society including:

  • Cash, credit card, or automatic funds transfer: An easy way to fund your philanthropy.  You will receive a charitable tax deduction that will provide you with savings on this year’s tax return.  The Tocqueville Society enables you to manage all of your giving from one location and provides a consolidated statement of your annual giving to easily support your tax return preparation.
  • Appreciated securities:  A gift of appreciated securities, including stocks or bonds, is an easy way for you to make a gift; our United Way does not charge a fee for stock conversion. Gifts of closely held stock enjoy the same tax benefits as with publicly traded stock.
  • Real estate: If you own appreciated real property, you could avoid paying capital gains tax by making a gift to your Tocqueville fund.
  • Mandatory distributions:  Retirees can give up to $100,000 to charity tax-free and have it count as their required minimum distribution for the year. Starting the year you turn age 70 ½, the IRS requires that you withdraw at least a minimum amount from tax-deferred accounts, such as traditional IRAs, SIMPLE and SEP IRA plans, 401(k)s, nonprofit 403(b)s and government 457 plans. Each person’s scenario differs so it’s recommend that you work with a professional who identify strategies to best manage your tax burden.
  • Life insurance: A gift of your life insurance policy is an excellent way to make a tax-deductible donation. If your life insurance policy is no longer fully needed to benefit your survivors, consider making a gift through designating our United Way as a beneficiary.  You can then work with us to determine how the proceeds of your insurance policy can support your charitable causes.
  • Charitable will bequest: You can leave a legacy to your community by designating our United Way as the beneficiary of your asset by will, trust or other instrument.  Check with your investment advisor about the benefits of a charitable remainder unitrust or life estate reserved option.

Family Philanthropy

The Tocqueville Society provides the opportunity to demonstrate the joy of charitable giving to your heirs. Philanthropic families put their values into action as they provide strategic support to build their nonprofit partners and, together, create lasting, long-term change in their community.  Rewards that sustain family involvement include stronger family relationships, impact of our giving and involvement, opportunity to engage the next generation over time.  Ask us about all the options we offer to support your multi-generational family legacy with maximum impact.

The National Tocqueville Society

Local Tocqueville Society members are automatically part of the national network of philanthropic leaders who are engaged locally to create long-lasting, positive changes.  They are invited to attend national and worldwide gatherings of United Way’s Tocqueville and Million Dollar Roundtable Members. 

The Tocqueville Society is named after Alexis de Tocqueville, a French diplomat, political scientist, and historian. His discussions with eminent Americans, published in 1835 and 1840, recognized American voluntary action on behalf of the common good. The Tocqueville Society was created in 1984 by United Way of America to build on de Tocqueville’s foundational work of advancing the common good to create opportunities for a better life for all.  In 1994, our local Tocqueville Society was formed to engage philanthropic champions who invest in our community.

Join the Tocqueville Society to Change Lives through Philanthropic Leadership

We invite you to join our Tocqueville Society by making an annual donation of $10,000 or more.  Your gift to United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties, combined with those of your neighbors, will provide the building blocks for a better life: a quality education that leads to a stable job; income that can support a family through retirement, and good health.  The money you donate today will ensure local families are thriving tomorrow. 


LoAnn Ayers