Legacies Anyone Can Create 

Recently, I had the privilege of serving as a panelist for Oberlin College & Conservatory, engaging their alumni about how planned gifts work and how donors can strengthen Oberlin’s future while gaining tax benefits. Planned giving represents the opportunity to provide long-term support to an organization, but it also gives donors a chance to establish a legacy. Most of the topics we discussed with the Oberlin alumni could apply just as easily to how donors can strengthen Lorain County’s future. 

One of the key insights we highlighted was that planned gifts are one of the easiest ways to give because the donors make a meaningful contribution beyond their lifetime. Planned giving provides an opportunity to leave a major gift that may not have been possible earlier due to other financial commitments. Some of the transformative benefits of planned giving include: 

  1. Legacy Impact: Donors can leave a lasting legacy that continues to benefit the nonprofit and its cause well into the future. 
  1. Tax Benefits: Many planned gifts provide tax advantages, such as reducing estate tax or avoiding capital gains tax. 
  1. Flexible Options: Donors have the flexibility to choose from various assets for their gift, including cash, stocks, real estate, or other valuables. 
  1. Long-term Support: These gifts often form a substantial part of an organization’s endowment, providing long-term financial stability. 
  1. Increased Giving: Planned gifts can ignite a ripple effect of generosity, leading to an increase in overall donations to the organization.  

Planned giving encompasses a variety of methods by which donors can contribute to the causes they care about, often with mutual benefits. While bequests and beneficiary designations are the most traditional form of planned giving, where donors leave a portion of their estate to a non-profit in their will, right now is a particularly favorable time for charitable gift annuities. 

A charitable gift annuity (CGA) is a rewarding financial collaboration where a donation is made to a non-profit, and in return, the organization agrees to pay the donor a fixed amount of money regularly (like monthly or yearly) for the rest of their life. The money that remains creates your legacy gift. SECURE Act 2.0 of 2022 introduced a new provision that allows individuals over the age of 70½ to make a one-time qualified charitable distribution (QCD) of up to $50K from their IRA into a charitable gift annuity. In 2024, inflation adjustments now allow you to transfer up to $53K that may count as your required minimum distribution if you are over age 73. 

Legacies can come in all shapes and sizes. If you would like to learn more about the IRA to Gift Annuity Rollover and other giving opportunities to create your legacy, please contact Laura Malone, Development Officer or visit our Donor Learning Portal. Remember, it is always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand how to ensure you are maximizing the benefits of your charitable giving.