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By Mike Gricius, CPA Senior Manager

Many charitable organizations do not realize the power of planned giving or actively pursue these types of gifts. Planned giving is a fundraising mechanism for a charitable organization to receive future benefit and help secure long-term stability. At the same time, it allows a donor to leave a legacy behind based on their family values and financial goals. The key is to be able to find a match between the purpose of a charitable organization and the donor's charitable wishes.

Planned giving can be quite attractive to donors in many ways. The donor receives valuable tax benefits, gives input in how the funds shall be used, and invests in causes in which they truly believe. At the same time, planned giving is attractive to charitable organizations as it provides additional fundraising options. The charitable organization can receive a donation, make payments to the donor or beneficiaries for an extended period of time, and at the end of the period, the remaining assets can be transferred to the charitable organization to support its mission.

Some of the most identifiable planned gifts are defined as follows:

Bequests By establishing a trust or a will, assets are transferred to a charitable organization upon the death of the donor for present and future benefit.

Charitable gift annuities The charitable organization accepts a donation and agrees to pay a specified, fixed-dollar amount to a named beneficiary for a specified time period or upon death of the beneficiary.

Charitable trusts A donor transfers assets to create a trust for the purpose of paying a specified annual amount to named beneficiaries for a set number of years or the life of the named beneficiaries. Upon final payment or at the end of the specified period, the remaining assets will transfer to a different beneficiary or charitable organization for present and future benefit.

Planned giving has many variations and is a great way to meet the needs of donors and charitable organizations. Offering these different giving instruments can open many fundraising opportunities for your organization.


If you have any questions regarding the article above or any other issue affecting your not-for-profit organization please contact your Blue & Co. advisor or e-mail us at or call us at 800-717-BLUE


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CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including any attachments, is not intended or written by us to be used, and cannot be used, by anyone for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed by the federal government or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.


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