Planned giving gift models

Planned Giving Options: How to Give – Part One

When you leave a planned gift with the Arthritis Foundation, you’ll help us improve the lives of those with arthritis – and you’ll leave a lasting legacy that will help us make a difference in the arthritis community for years to come.

So far, in our planned giving series, we’ve discussed how planned giving can benefit you and your loved ones both during your lifetime and after you leave your legacy with the Arthritis Foundation – no matter what type of gift you make!

In this post, we’ll discuss the various types of planned giving that might provide tax benefits, additional income, and even more. Read more about the types of gift models you can donate below.


A bequest is one of the easiest, most flexible planned gift models you can make that also allows you to make sure your heirs are cared for after you’re gone. It also has additional benefits for you and your loved ones, including:

  • Estate tax charitable deductions
  • Reducing the tax burden on your family (heirs will not be taxed on a bequest)
  • Flexibility – you can include various types of bequests to make sure that your assets remain intact for as long as you need them!

We can provide you with suggested bequest language that you can take to your attorney to specify that you are including the Arthritis Foundation as a part of your estate plan. You can also make a bequest using a beneficiary designation form. Please note that you can bequeath different types of bequests, including:

  • Percentage bequest: Bequeath a pre-determined percentage of your estate.
  • Specific bequest: Make a gift of a specific dollar amount or a specific asset.
  • Residual bequest: Bequeath all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after all other gifts, debts, taxes and expenses are designated.
  • Contingent bequest: Make a gift of your estate only if your primary beneficiaries can no longer receive your estate at the time of your death.
  • Restricted bequest: Make a gift to us to be used for a specific purpose.

If you have any questions about the type of bequest you would like to leave to the Foundation, we can discuss your options with you! You can also speak to your attorney and tax advisor to determine which type of bequest is best for you and your loved ones.

Beneficiary Designation Gifts 

This gift model is the most flexible of all charitable gifts! To make this gift, complete a beneficiary designation form, which designates us as the beneficiary of your retirement, investment or bank account or life insurance policy. Even after the form is submitted, you will still be able to freely use the account, including taking distributions and making withdrawals. Additionally, if, for any reason, you need to change your mind about making this gift (e.g. if your loved ones need financial assistance), you will be able to withdraw or modify it later. Other benefits include:

  • Simplifying your estate planning – you won’t have to change your will
  • Avoiding expensive legal fees
  • Reducing tax burden – funds will not be taxed for income or estate tax
  • Flexibility – use your account as long as you need
  • Caring for your family first – name your loved ones to benefit from your account first and allow us to receive the remainder to support our cause!

Charitable Gift Annuity 

If you don’t trust the fluctuation of the ever-changing stock and real estate markets, this gift model may be for you! With a charitable gift annuity, you can transfer your cash or appreciated property to the Arthritis Foundation in exchange for a secure source of fixed payments for the rest of your life. Other benefits include:

  • Guaranteed income – we promise to pay you a fixed amount for life
  • Tax benefits – a portion of each payment might be tax-free, and you’ll be able to receive a charitable income tax deduction
  • A reduced capital-gain tax when you use stock instead of cash
  • Adding to your retirement income
  • Providing income to your loved ones – set up an annuity for us and for your family members!
  • Saving time – you won’t have to manage a CD or handle stock returns

And you’ll be helping us support our mission!

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts 

If you’re concerned about capital gains tax, or if you sold property and want to save on taxes and plan for a retirement, a charitable remainder unitrust might be right for you. With this gift model, you transfer cash or appreciated property to a trust, which will sell your assets (tax-free!) and provide you with income for a pre-determined period of time. Benefits include:

  • Income for life – whether for a term of up to 20 years or life plus a term of up to 20 years
  • Avoiding capital gains on the sale of your appreciated assets
  • Receiving an immediate charitable income tax deduction
  • Receiving an income tax deduction the year you transfer assets to the trust
  • Potential for growth of income over time, as rate of income will vary

A unitrust allows for various assets of donation. In addition to cash, you can also donate securities, stock, real estate, antiques, art, collections or royalties!

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts

A charitable remainder annuity trust is similar to a charitable remainder unitrust, with two main differences. A unitrust is revalued each year, providing you with a fixed percentage of the principal of the amount. An annuity trust will provide you with a fixed dollar amount each year, which is pre-determined when you make the trust.

You can discuss the options with your financial advisor to determine which variation is the best for your needs! Benefits for a charitable remainder annuity trust include:

  • Fixed income for life, whether for a term of up to 20 years or life plus a term of up to 20 years
  • Avoiding up-front capital gains tax on your appreciated assets
  • Receiving an immediate charitable income tax deduction
  • Receiving an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution to the trust

Talk to Us About Your Options

Stay tuned for the second part of this post later this month to learn more about alternate gift models for your donation! If you have questions about planned giving, or if you’re unsure about what to give and how to give it, please contact us by filling out our short online form, calling 866-528-8687 or emailing You can also read the first and second posts in our planned giving series to learn more about how to help the Arthritis Foundation champion the fight against arthritis!

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