A Lifetime of Impact

Never underestimate the impact you can have on Parker.

Each fall, more than 900 students and their families enter our school to begin a year-long process of learning and growth. These students are creative, open minded, intellectually curious and resilient learners who rely on a community of supporters, like you, to enrich the educational experience at our school.
Your planned gift is a special gift. It connects your story and past with Parker’s future. Whether you are passionate about supporting our endowment, financial aid, programs, facilities or general operations, your contribution impacts the experience of every student today and may well strengthen their bond with Parker in the future.
Contact us about a planned gift or bequest today.

Contact Us

Brent Caburnay
John G. Levi
Director of Development 

Anita McCormick Blaine Planned Giving Society

Planned Giving Profile: Joan Nierman Weiss ’53

Joan Nierman Weiss arrived at Parker in the 9th grade having spent her elementary school years at two Chicago-area private schools. “Parker was very unique, and very diverse for the time, and I loved that about it,” she recalled. As a field hockey player and an active participant in Parker’s once bustling Toy Shop, to this day, Joan feels strongly that her experiences at Parker were unlike any she had had in her previous schools and unlike the experiences of her older siblings at their school.

She reflects on the independence, confidence and trust by her teachers gave her to play an active role in her own learning. “All of the teachers were just really special…they treated you like they cared about you.” One experience that sticks with Joan was visiting a police station on her own as a junior or senior to speak with and learn more about drug-addicted individuals. She used her visit to the police station and the scenes she observed there to inform her writing for a paper. “Where else could I have gone and had this kind of experience? Parker was just a thoughtful, special place.”

In the years following her graduation from Parker, Joan married Marco Weiss, a West coast native and attorney, and together they have traveled extensively, living in Chicago, Los Angeles and abroad in Russia, the UK and France. Joan and Marco have been active, longtime supporters of many cultural and social service organizations around Chicago and Los Angeles, but their support of Parker is a special one rooted in the unique educational experience Joan received here. Like many alumni, Joan reminisces about the close-knit friendships she developed during high school. Her group of friends hailed from different parts of Chicago, and she reflects on how fortunate she was to have had friendships with a diverse group of people. “I had so many friends that I probably wouldn’t have met anywhere else and I was lucky they were at Parker.”

Of his wife and her innate ability to empathize and connect with others from all walks of life, Marco says, “Joan doesn’t know the boundaries…she accepts people for who they are and what they are…and I think she learned that growing up from her experience at Parker and her parents.”

Joan Nierman Weiss graduated from Parker in 1953. She and her husband, Marco Weiss have one son, William, and live in Chicago. Most recently, the Weisses hosted Joan’s 60th reunion gathering.They are passionate about diversity initiatives and proud to support Parker through a meaningful planned gift, for which our school is forever grateful.

The Anita McCormick Blaine Planned Giving Society recognizes members of the community who have included Parker in their estate plans. For more information about the Society or planned giving, contact the Development and Alumni Office at 773.797.5520 or development@fwparker.org.

Read More About

List of 4 items.

  • Bequests (Gifts by Will or Living Trust)

    Give to Parker without affecting your cash flow during your lifetime.

    How it works
    • Include a bequest to Parker in your will or trust.
    • Make your bequest unrestricted or direct it to a specific purpose.
    • Indicate a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or a portion of the balance remaining in your estate or trust.
    • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime.
    • You can modify your bequest to address changing circumstances.
    • You can direct your bequest to a particular purpose (be sure to check with us to make sure your gift can be used as intended).
    • Under current tax law, there is no upper limit on the estate tax deduction for your charitable bequests.
  • Gifts of Retirement Plans

    Your retirement plan may be worth more when donated to Parker than to your heirs.

    How It Works
    • Name Parker as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified plan.
    • Designate Parker to receive all or a portion of the balance of your plan through your plan administrator.
    • The balance in your plan passes to Parker after your passing.
    • Avoid the double taxation your retirement savings would incur if you designated your heir(s) as beneficiary(ies).
    • Continue to take regular lifetime withdrawals.
    • Revoke Parker as a beneficiary if your family’s needs change.
  • Testamentary Life Income Gifts

    One gift in your estate can benefit both your family and Parker.

    How It Works
    • You write a will or revocable trust directing a bequest to Parker.
    • You provide that the bequest first create a life income gift benefiting your designated recipients.
    • After their income interest terminates, the remaining balance of the gift passes to Parker to be applied to the purposes you specify.
    • One estate asset can benefit both Parker and your heirs or other desired beneficiaries.
    • Your estate will be eligible to claim a charitable deduction for a portion of the amount of your bequest.
    • You can modify your bequest if your circumstances change.
  • Gifts of Life Insurance

    Give a policy you no longer need to Parker.

    How It Works
    • You transfer ownership of a paid-up life insurance policy to Parker.
    • Parker cashes the policy now or maintains it and receives the death benefit later.
    • You receive gift credit and an immediate income tax deduction for the cash surrender value of the policy.
    • You gain the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Parker without adversely affecting your cash flow.


List of 6 items.

  • I want to set up a life insurance policy, name Parker as beneficiary, but retain ownership of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?

    No. The IRS would not consider that a “completed gift”; they'd say, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member. We must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.
  • I'd like to donate a painting. Will you determine its value for my income tax deduction?

    The IRS requires that donors of artwork and collectibles secure an independent appraisal of the items to establish fair market value. The appraisal has to be related to the gift; an insurance appraisal will not suffice.
  • I’ve heard that transferring gifts of IRA assets to charity is advantageous. Why?

    Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k), 403(b) and Keoghs allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years. However, after a person's death, these accounts are exposed to income and, in some cases, estate taxes at a combined rate that could rise to 75 percent or higher on large taxable estates. The only way to avoid both income and estate tax on your retirement plan is to give those assets to a charity. By designating Parker as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100 percent of your account’s value benefits Parker.
  • If I create a bequest or life income gift, will you continue to ask me for annual contributions?

    Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. However, annual gifts support today’s efforts, and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual support you may want to consider.
  • What assets can I use to make a gift to Parker?

    Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright gift of securities or other property (e.g., real estate, personal property). Through your will or living trust, or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, you can designate a gift to Parker.
  • What tax deduction will I receive for my gift?

    Your tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift, the time you make it, whether it is outright or deferred and whether it includes income payments. In general, though, here are some guidelines: 

    Outright gifts to Parker generate a full income tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of appreciated securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition of capital gains.

    Gifts of personal property, like art, books and collectibles, are fully deductible as long as they are relevant to Parker’s mission. We can advise you on this point. 

    Bequests do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction. However, they are exempt from estate tax.

    Similarly, life insurance distributions to Parker are not income-tax-deductible but are exempt from estate tax. If you have made us the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a policy during your lifetime, you may deduct annual gifts that offset premium payments and possibly the value of your policy at the time of contribution.

    The charitable deduction for a gift that returns income to you, such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust, is the fair market value of the gift asset minus the present value of the income interest you retain.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.