Planned Giving Officer Keith Johnson discusses the benefits of charitable giving, and introduces The Pathway Society.
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Hi, my name is Keith Johnson. I serve as the Planned Giving Officer at Cairn University and Director of The Regency Foundation. Welcome to our wealth planning podcast series. Throughout this series we hope to provide practical ideas on how to establish Godly wealth management habits that can be applied to your life.
We have been specifically focusing on how to properly manage through 13 wealth management issues that most of us will face in our lifetime. Most of the financial issues we face in life come with income tax consequences. Take for example, the issue of income. Income can obviously be generated through employment. The tax consequences for earning income is of course all the taxes that we must pay as a result. In addition to employment income, perhaps you have dividends or capital gains resulting from your investment portfolio. Again, the consequences for earning those dividends or capital gains is the tax that must be paid on a federal and in many cases, a state level. Most people are interested in learning how to reduce or even eliminate the taxes we are required to pay.
You may find it interesting to learn that the tax law is specifically designed not to be fair.
When one looks at the wording 16th Amendment to the Constitution it becomes very clear that Congress has the power to collect taxes on incomes from any source and it shall not be fair. All we have to do is find those portions of the tax law that legally allows us to reduce our taxes.
The primary tax savings tool that Congress preserved and has allowed to remain in the new tax law, is the deduction for charitable giving. Contributions made to a qualifying charity such as Cairn University is by far the best way to reduce or even eliminate taxes.
To assist our alumni and friends, Cairn University established The Regency Foundation in 1994. Even though it is a separate charitable foundation, it is led by Cairn University employees and Board Members who also serve on the University Board of Trustees. One of its primary responsibilities is the oversight of the management of the University’s endowment and other investment pools.
The Regency Foundation also serves as the Planned Giving arm of the University. As such, it offers some very unique services such as trust and estate administration services. The Foundation can also serve as Trustee for such vehicles as Charitable Remainder Trusts and other irrevocable trusts where Cairn University is named as one of the beneficiaries. It is also through the Regency Foundation that we offer financial planning as well as estate planning advice to our alumni and friends of the University.
Through The Regency Foundation we offer a number of charitable giving tools and techniques to help make charitable giving as easy as possible for our alumni and friends.
As we have explained in previous podcasts, using these tools and techniques do not necessarily require you to give up or reduce your income. Many deferred gifts can provide income for all your life plus be a powerful way to build a lasting legacy after your death. Selecting the right charitable giving technique, however, is really important.
Over the years, our alumni and friends of Cairn University have been so faithful and generous by providing both current gifts through annual giving as well as deferred gifts through planned giving.
By way of reminder, current gifts are those that are donated for immediate use. These important gifts help us provide scholarships and grants to our students each year. Many donors are surprised to learn that Cairn University provides grants and scholarships to some 90% of our students each year. These gifts received each year are vital and help meet the needs of our students.
Planned giving is the name generally given to deferred gifts. Deferred gifts are those that are donated for future use. Typically, these planned gifts don’t become available for use by the University until some triggering event, such as the death of the donor, takes place. Deferred gifts include such instruments as Charitable Remainder Trusts, Donor Advised Funds and Charitable Gift Annuities. Other popular ways to make deferred gifts to the University include simply naming Cairn as a beneficiary of a portion of your estate in your Will. You can also name the University as a beneficiary of a portion of a retirement account such as an IRA. Some donors name the University as beneficiary for a fixed dollar amount while others give a set percentage.
Because so many of our alumni and friends have been faithful in supporting Cairn University over the years, we wanted to find a way to recognize and honor those who make planned giving part of their financial planning strategy. To that end, I am pleased to announce the creation of The Pathway Society has been formed for that purpose.
The Pathway Society is designed to recognize and honor our planned givers. If you have remembered Cairn University in your Will or Trust or have used some other planned giving tool that will benefit Cairn University sometime in the future, please consider this your personal invitation to join The Pathway Society.
You can qualify for membership, for example, if you have named Cairn as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or even your retirement plan or IRA. You also qualify for membership if you have established a Charitable Trust or charitable Gift Annuity that names the University as a beneficiary. You also qualify if you have set up Donor Advised Fund and directs gifts to Cairn from the Fund. Any planned gift qualifies you to for membership.
You may be asking, why is it important to join? There are several important reasons.
- It allows the University to recognize and honor your generosity.
- Your membership can serve as an encouragement to others to make a similar gift.
- You membership helps our students, faculty and staff appreciate the faithfulness of our alumni and friends who support the university.
- It also helps us create a sound financial footing for the future of Cairn University.
I am pleased to announce we have created an informative brochure that explains the Pathway Society and the many planned giving tools that are available. We would be happy to put one of these new brochures in your hands. It is also a great resource for you to use with your financial planner or estate planning specialist.
If you would like one of these booklets, simply email us and we will gladly send one to you along with a simple application for membership away.
The application asks that you grant permission for us to simply publish your name in the registry of Pathway Society members. We will never reveal the dollar amount of your contribution or planned gift nor will disclose a description of the type of gift given.
I want to personally encourage you to become a member.
At Cairn University and The Regency Foundation we want to be a valuable resource of information and ideas you can use in a practical way. To that end, we are offering one hour of financial planning consultation at no charge to you. If would like to take advantage of this benefit or if you have any questions about today’s topic, feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your generosity and I look forward to sharing next month’s Advancement podcast.