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Renee Moldovansky '00: Paying It Forward

Renee Moldovansky

Renee Moldovansky

By Lisa Murtha

Renee Moldovansky '00 was "switching jobs and thinking about beneficiaries" when she first entertained the idea of including HB in her will. She was looking to do something "meaningful" with her estate planning, she says, and thought that giving to HB—a place that had given her so much—"seemed like a great way to pay it forward."

When Renee came to HB she was a self-described painfully shy fifth-grader who devoured schoolwork the moment it was assigned. "But by eighth grade," she says, "HB really got me out of my shell—I played on the tennis team, I was into art. It was a really unique environment." She also treasured the "multigenerational environment" that HB's single pre-K-through-twelve campus afforded. "My niece, Michelle, was in pre-K during my senior year of high school," says Renee. "I would pick her up from her classroom and bring her to my 10th period Spanish class, then drive her home. That connection was very important to us."

By the time she made it to the Rhode Island School of Design ("I thank Jamie Morse for introducing me to the world of art and design schools," says Renee), she saw firsthand the distinct advantages of her HB education; not only was she capable of managing a workload that other students found daunting, "Socially," Renee explains, "I had a great deal of confidence that many other women seemed to lack."

Four years later, armed with dual bachelor's degrees in Fine Arts and Architecture (plus a minor in English), Renee made her way into the professional world and ended up back in Cleveland, working first for an architecture firm and now for a construction and real estate development company, in marketing and business development. "A lot of my professional success came from the intangibles at HB that I didn't even realize at the time," says Renee—things like the ability to communicate effectively through writing and graphics, or make presentations in front of large groups.

Those realizations, coupled with her "continued involvement" with the school (via two nieces who are now also HB graduates), led Renee to realize that including HB in her will was something she wanted to do— and something that was easily accomplished. Moreover, by sharing with HB that the school is in her estate plan, Renee has given HB the important opportunity to say thank you to her during her lifetime.

Her advice to others considering doing the same? Recognize the ability you possess to make an impact on the students of HB with an estate gift that suits your personal situation. "There is an outdated stigma and preconception that has been associated with people who give legacy gifts," says Renee. "But really, it's something anyone can do."

For more information about supporting Hathaway Brown School through a legacy gift, please contact Terry Kurtz at 216-320-8799 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hathaway Brown School 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Hathaway Brown School [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 Hathaway Brown School 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, timeshare property, 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 Hathaway Brown School 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 Hathaway Brown School 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 Hathaway Brown School where you agree to make a gift to Hathaway Brown School 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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