Two Third Prize awards of $1,500 and one-year Naval Institute memberships were presented to Nathan Hughes, for his essay, “Our Own Worst Enemy: Institutional Inertias and the Internal Challenges of Embracing Robotics,” and Lieutenant Colonel David W. Szelowski, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired), for his essay, “Mad, Mad Killer Robotics.”
Donations to the Naval Institute Foundation and corporate sponsorships make possible the entire slate of USNI essay contests on leadership, ethics, technology, joint warfighting strategy, operations, and tactics, fostering better ideas and higher standards of communication among military professionals.
It’s Never Too Soon to Begin Tax Planning
The following is one of dozens of pieces of tax and estate-planning advice available on the Naval Institute’s Web site, www.usni.org  . Click on “Donate,” then “Planned Giving” for more information.
Charitable giving is not just a year-end event. Since decisions with tax consequences are likely to occur throughout the year, it’s important to have a plan in place that you can act on, regardless of the season.
Now is a perfect time to start a checklist documenting any 2011 activities that may have tax consequences so that you will receive full credit for all charitable transactions. Tax advisers say a common pitfall is failure to follow IRS rules for substantiating gifts, resulting in a missed opportunity to claim a contribution.
Here are some points to keep in mind:
• Make all your gifts to qualified charitable organizations that are recognized by the IRS. Ask organizations for proof of their charitable status prior to making a gift, or check the IRS Web site ( www.irs.gov  ) and search for Publication 78 . (Both the Naval Institute and its fundraising arm, the Naval Institute Foundation, are classified by the IRS as 501(c)(3) charitable entities.)
• Keep receipts, canceled checks and credit card statements as proof of any cash gifts. In addition, if your gift is $250 or more you must have a dated receipt from the organization stating the amount of your gift and whether you received anything of value in return for it. (The Naval Institute Foundation provides written acknowledgment of all gifts, regardless of size.)
Please keep the Naval Institute in mind for your charitable giving. Your tax-deductible gifts strengthen our organization now. By including the Institute in your estate planning, you help keep the Institute viable in the future.