A ‘Win-Win’ Way to Give

Georges and Mary Birenbaum

Georges and Mary “Shorty” Birenbaum recently created two gifts to Earlham that also pay them back.

Ask Mary “Shorty” Birenbaum ’61 why Earlham was the best place for her and she responds with quiet conviction. “I learned to listen, to hear what other people are saying,” she says.

As for her husband, Georges ’63, after attending a distant relative’s graduation at Earlham, he knew it was where he wanted to be.

For the Birenbaums, Earlham set the stage for life-changing experiences. Earlham was where they met and fell in love. It was where they honed their knowledge to be successful in their careers. Earlham offered a foundation of principles that guided their philanthropic and service efforts throughout their lives.

Now Georges, a retired ophthalmologist, performs eye surgeries pro bono for those in need worldwide. Shorty, among many other community pursuits, was an Earlham board member who became an honorary lifetime trustee when her term ended.

Longtime Earlham donors, the Birenbaums have made a pledge to give back for all that Earlham helped develop in them.

The couple also recently set up two gifts with Earlham that will pay them back, known as charitable gift annuities (CGAs). Simple to set up, according to Shorty, the couple chose this type of gift because it is a “win-win situation” for both parties involved.

“We know we’ll receive steady income from the CGAs, and Earlham will receive the remainder after our lifetime,” she says.

“If you’re looking to the future,” Shorty adds, “CGAs give you some security and you help Earlham in the long run.”