What Are Your Planned Giving Options?

Neil Mahnke |

Most nonprofit organizations today offer a variety of planned giving options that supporters can take advantage of. If you’re committed to supporting an organization into perpetuity, planned giving provides you with the option to do so.

While consulting with your tax or financial advisor is recommended before making any planned giving decisions, it can be helpful to gain some understand about the various options that are available, and which of these options are more likely to suit your own particular financial needs and personal philanthropic philosophy.

The following are just a few of the ways you can continue to give back to your favorite causes for the foreseeable future:

Leave the organization a bequest – one of the easiest ways to support your favorite organization is to simply name them in your will or through a trust. You can choose to leave a stated amount to the organization or leave a percentage of your estate.

Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds or Securities – Donating appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual funds will increase the impact of your gift to the organization while also providing you with significant tax savings. In most cases you will be able to transfer the securities directly to the organization in question, but be sure to check with your financial planner for more specifics on tax benefits.

Life Insurance or Retirement Plans – If you’re more comfortable leaving your estate to your immediate heirs, you can still choose to support your favorite organization by naming them as the beneficiary of your life insurance plan, retirement plan, or annuity assets.

A Charitable Gift Annuity – A bit more complicated than a simple bequest, a charitable gift annuity allows donors to gift the nonprofit of their choice with a significant sum of money. The minimum charitable gift annuity is typically $10,000. Once that donation has been received, the nonprofit then will provide you with a set income determined by the money donated. This payment ends upon death, with the nonprofit then retaining the balance left in the annuity. It’s important to check with a financial advisor about the laws in your state regarding charitable gift annuities. You may also want to check with the organization that would receive the funds, as not every organization has the resources in place to accept charitable gift annuities.

A Charitable Remainder Trust – A charitable remainder trust is similar to a charitable gift annuity, though because of the expense of administering a separate trust, the minimum donation amount typically starts at $100,000, with the donor receiving an annual amount until the trust is completed, with the nonprofit receiving the remaining funds.

Real Property – While not gifted as frequently as stocks, bonds, and securities, some do choose to leave real property to a beloved nonprofit organization. Real property can include buildings and land. Again, be sure to check with the organization in question to ensure they can accept this type of donation.

Personal Property – While personal property can also be bequeathed to an organization, it’s important to check with the organization first to determine whether they can accept these items.

Being aware of the numerous planned giving options available will make it much easier for you and your financial advisor to create a plan that will work best for you.

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