Kulanu, a non-profit organization, relies on support from individuals, congregations, and other groups to connect with and assist Jewish communities around the world. Please see the article below about how you can really make an impact with planned giving.
by Lawrence J. Gross, Esq.*, Spring 2011
Many charities are the beneficiaries of planned giving. A case in point was Kulanu’s recent gift of $32,000 from dedicated supporter Lynne Elson, a special woman who believed in Kulanu’s mission to help isolated and emerging Jewish communities world-wide. (See the President’s Letter on page 7 of the Spring-Summer 2011 issue of the Kulanu newsletter at www.kulanu.org/magazines.)
What is planned giving?
Planned giving is nothing more than including charitable giving in your estate plan and/or related retirement plan. Charitable giving is generally tax deductible in the United States so long as the charity is recognized by the IRS – which Kulanu is.
Before we get to retirement and estate planning, take a minute to think about giving appreciated assets. If you own an asset, such as stocks and bonds, real estate, a work of art or some other asset that has increased in value, and you donate it to a tax exempt charity (like Kulanu), you receive a tax deduction for the appreciated value (not the lesser amount you paid for it) and pay no capital gains. So please send us your gold coins!
Here’s a convenient way to donate appreciated stock: donate it to a “donor advised fund” run by a community foundation, Jewish Federation, Bnai Brith, or Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and then advise the fund when you want your donated funds to be passed on to Kulanu or other charities. You only need to report one donation of stock to the IRS even if your gift eventually goes to many different charities at different times. You get the full deduction in the year you donate the stock to the donor advised fund. Using a donor-advised fund to donate appreciated stock saves you money and also saves a lot of work for you and for the charity that might otherwise receive your stock.
But back to planned giving. How is it done? There are generally five ways:
- 1. By a lifetime Trust.
- 2. By a provision in your will. This could either be a percentage of all or part of your estate, a dollar amount or a physical asset such as a marketable painting. One of my clients has made a percentage bequest in her will to Kulanu.
- 3. By a retained life estate, usually in real estate. This means you have the use (and income, if any) of the property during your lifetime plus an immediate charitable income tax deduction upon making the gift. At your death (or after a period of years) the property goes to Kulanu.
- 4. By making Kulanu the beneficiary (or partial beneficiary) of your retirement plan/IRA or an insurance policy.
- 5. By creating a charitable annuity plan or joining in a charity’s own annuity set up. At this time, Kulanu does not have its own annuity structure but would work with you to help accomplish this goal.
An annuity is usually created by giving an asset or monies to a charitable annuity (a form of Trust) which promises to pay you fixed or variable periodic interest for a period of time (or for life) at the end of which, payments cease and the balance is retained by the charity. Be sure to discuss your personal goals and circumstances with your attorney or tax advisor. This website provides more details about the options for planned giving:
PlannedGiving.com: What is Planned Giving?
*At the time this article was written, Lonny (Lawrence) Gross had been an attorney in New York City for 49 years; among his specialties were Estates and Trusts and Elder Law. He is now retired, and no longer lives in New York. He lived in Africa as a young man in the Peace Corp and returned to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2010.
More About Your Donation
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Tax Exemption Information and Form 990s
Kulanu, Inc is a a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Donations to Kulanu are tax deductible for US taxpayers. Click here to read Kulanu's IRS tax exemption letter.
Form 990 is the annual report that US nonprofit organizations must submit to the Internal Revenue Service. View Kulanu's Form 990's (in pdf format):