Planned Giving Committee Report:
First year success is just the beginning
Paul Teten, Chair, BoV Planned Giving Committee
As the Chair of the Board of Visitors Planned Giving Committee, I am proud that the Board of Visitors has come through in a spectacular way in the last year. Generous BoV members and others have increased the number of planned gifts to benefit Texas Astronomy by more that 50 percent, bringing the known total of planned gifts to more than $2.6 million. This is a great beginning, but our work as BoV members has just started.
Remember that the Texas Astronomy program will depend on decisions made by people like us today; please join me and the other proud BoV members making planned gifts to create a legacy that can transform McDonald Observatory and the Department of Astronomy.
Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin are playing pivotal roles in an epoch-changing scientific revolution, investigating forces and forms of matter that dominate our Universe, discovering new planets, and finding the complex molecules that are the building blocks of life. Basic research of this kind has the potential for sweeping effects on the knowledge that will shape humanity’s future. That revolutionary research, and much more, can be sustained by gifts that anyone can make:
IRAs - Making the charity a beneficiary of a percentage or dollar amount from an IRA, 401-k, or other retirement funds.
Life Insurance — An arrangement in which a donor gives a life insurance policy to the charity. The cash value of that gift is tax deductible, as are any future premiums the donor may opt to pay on that policy. Note that only life insurance policies that are paid in full qualify as planned gifts.
Bequest — A provision in a will or estate plan that allocates all or part of the individual’s estate to a charity. Already have a will? You and your legal advisor may be able to make the provisions you wish through creation of a codicil.
Charitable Remainder Trust — An irrevocable trust that pays a specified annual amount to one or more people for a fixed period of years (often the life of the individual). At the end of the term of the trust, the remaining trust assets are distributed to the charity. A charitable remainder annuity trust provides a fixed payment; a charitable remainder unitrust pays out a fixed percentage of the trust value each year.
Charitable Lead Trust— Similar to a charitable remainder trust, but the principal reverts to the donor or his or her designated heirs at the end of the trust term. If the principal reverts to the donor, he or she gets a charitable income tax deduction; if an heir, that person gets a charitable gift tax deduction.
Charitable Gift Annuity — An irrevocable transfer of property (e.g. securities) in exchange for a contract to pay the donor an annuity for life. Because the value of the property exceeds the value of the annuity, it is partially a gift to the institution.
Life Estate — An arrangement in which a donor gives his or her home to a charity while retaining the right to live there for the remainder of his or her life. The donor receives an immediate income-tax deduction. The charity may sell the property upon the donor’s death.
The Texas Astronomy Program has created a new donor-recognition group, the Pegasus Society, to provide a way of acknowledging and thanking Board of Visitors Members, Friends of McDonald Observatory, and others who make planned gifts for the benefit of Texas Astronomy. The Pegasus Society is intended to supplement the recognition given by The University of Texas at Austin through the Texas Leadership Society (TLS). Acknowledgements include a special pin and desk ornament, along with invitations to special annual events.
I would be delighted to talk with about how satisfying it is to use gift planning to make a gift to the University and the Astronomy Program that we appreciate so much.
You can download a copy of the Board of Visitors Planned Giving brochure at:
Planned Giving brochure