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Benefits of Planned Giving for Donors

February 14, 2019

Many of us give generous donations to charities and organizations throughout our lifetime. But what if you could create a legacy gift to a cause, while enjoying some financial benefits now? Planned giving, also referred to as gift planning or legacy planning, can allow you to do just that.

Unlike standard donations given to non-profits, a planned gift is a major donation that can be made during your lifetime, or after, that maximizes the gift and/or minimizes the impact of that gift on the donor’s estate. The gift itself can come from a number of different sources, including cash, securities or stocks, real estate, artwork, personal property, life insurance, or even a retirement plan.

The 3 Types of Planned Gifts

Generally, planned gifts fall into 3 main categories:

  • Gifts from appreciated assets, which serve as a substitute for cash
  • Charitable gift annuities, which allow the donor to earn income from their gift
  • Payable upon death gifts, i.e. gifts which are only received upon the donor’s passing

The type of gift you plan may depend on the type of organization and how their planned giving program is operated. Additionally, a legal advisor can help you determine which type of gift can best benefit you and/or your estate.

Top Benefits of Planned Giving

A planned gift can help you ensure the future of a nonprofit you support. In fact, for many organizations, planned gifts are the biggest donations they receive all year and play a major role in helping to support their future. Here are some other benefits of planned giving:

  • Tax Benefits. One of the most attractive benefits planned giving offers donors is the major tax savings. Particularly if the gift source is something like an appreciated property or security, a planned gift can reduce income tax and allow you to avoid capital gains tax.
  • More Control Over How Your Donation is Used. While the details of planned giving may vary from organization to organization, generally, donors can directly choose how their gift is to be spent. Unlike standard donations, planned gifts are arranged through a legal contract. Because of this, the donor is able to place specific boundaries to how their gift is utilized. However, it is important to discuss the use of your planned gift with the organization to ensure it meets their mission and organizational needs.
  • The Ability to Leave a Lasting Legacy. Planned giving programs are often referred to as legacy programs for a reason, as it allows donors to leave a lasting mark on an organization they support for many years into the future.

Additionally, planned gifts are able to avoid the often expensive and long probate process. And depending on the type of gift, it can bring donors a whole host of other benefits such as planning for the financial needs of a spouse or loved one, providing heirs with inheritances at a reduced tax rate and diversifying your investment portfolio.

Be sure to contact your attorney or legal advisor to help you choose which planned giving option will best meet your financial and philanthropic goals, and there are often changes to tax laws which may impact your giving.

Planned Giving Opportunities as Episcopal SeniorLife Communities

Episcopal SeniorLife Communities can help you leave a lasting legacy through a planned gift to The Episcopal Church Home Foundation through our Frank Allen Society. Created in dedication to Frank Allen, former president of The Episcopal Church Home’s Board of Directors, The Frank Allen Society helps us provide the best in care to every resident both now and for years to come.

Plan ahead now for benefits in the future. Learn more about our planned giving program or contact the Development Office at 585.546.8439, ext. 3121, or

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