Charitable Planned Giving

In June of 2000, the Board of Trustees of the International Foundation of The American Historical Society of Germans From Russia (IFAHSGR) approved the adoption of a new Charitable Planned Giving Program. 

The purpose of the Foundation's Charitable Planned Giving Program is to identify, cultivate and close gifts that will support the mission and work of The American Historical Society of Germans From Russia. The Society serves its members by discovering, collecting, preserving and disseminating information related to the history, cultural heritage and genealogy of German settlers in the Russian Empire and their descendants.

The goals of the Society continue to be those of discovering and collecting information which relates to the culture of Germans from Russia; to establish a repository to disseminate this historical data; to encourage research and to hold meetings where lectures, papers and discussions increase knowledge about Germans from Russia.

This is a tall order, and its cost is ever increasing. The Foundation's Charitable Planned Giving Program will serve to fortify and strengthen the financial future of our organizations, insuring that our work can be carried on in perpetuity.

Planned Giving is a valuable way to make a charitable gift to help our Foundation carry out its mission to conduct its important historic work. The Donor can achieve solid benefits from Charitable Planned Giving by avoiding or lessening taxation, income enhancement, gift and estate tax planning, and solving capital gain tax problems. In short, with Planned Giving, you can help us and help yourself at the same time. Here are some of the ways:

Charitable Gifts can be made in a number of forms. Gifts to our Foundation of cash or cash equivalents may be taken as a charitable contribution income tax deduction for up to 50% of adjusted gross income in the year of the gift. Any unused portion of the charitable deduction may be carried forward for up to five additional years. Due to the rapid escalation in values and the capital gains exposure, gifts of marketable securities, real estate, collectibles, and closely held family corporation stock have come to make a great deal of sense. Gifts in this form may be taken for up to 30% of adjusted gross income with the same five year carry forward as cash. Perhaps more importantly, all capital gains tax liability is completely avoided when making an outright gift of highly appreciated assets. Outright giving can be a very effective "estate reduction" method.

A Charitable Gift Annuity from our Foundation can give donors enhanced after-tax income for the rest of their lives. With the Charitable Gift Annuity, donors do two things at once: Make a charitable gift, and secure a fixed-rate lifetime income. The IRS allows a charitable contribution income tax deduction, part of the lifetime income is tax-free, and if the Gift Annuity is funded with appreciated property, a portion of the capital gains tax liability is avoided. There are many varieties of Gift Annuities including the Deferred Flexible Gift Annuity, College Annuities, and Gift Annuities for the Remainder in a Home - all of which offer an added dimension to planning for the achievement of a variety of personal financial objectives. Additionally, the Gift Annuity passes outside of the estate, so there are no probate costs or estate tax consequences.


Donors draft a Trust document and place assets (generally highly appreciated) into the Trust, which entitles them to a current year income tax deduction and to bypass the capital gains tax. The deduction is dependent upon the ages of income beneficiaries and the length of the term of the Trust. Trust income may be either fixed (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust) or variable (Charitable Remainder Unitrust) and can be directed to whomever the Donor wishes. At the end of the Trust term, the Trustee transfers the "remaining" funds in the Trust to our Foundation (and any other named "Charitable Remaindenmen") A trust for one life or for husband and wife is free of federal estate tax. Charitable Remainder Trusts enable Donors to maintain a high level of control, flexibility and can be set up for virtually any reason, including retirement or for the funding of college expenses of a child or grandchild.

A Charitable Lead Trust pays Trust income to our Foundation for a specified term - then the Trust principal reverts to the Donor or passes to his/her heirs. The Family Lead Trust is an excellent way to "leverage the exemption" and pass major appreciating assets of substantial value to family members with minimum, if any gift or estate tax cost.
The Grantor Lead Trust is created solely for the purpose of obtaining an income tax deduction. The owner of the property gives up the income stream from the Trust for a period of years -yet receives the deduction up front for agreeing to give the income to our Foundation for a specified term.

Qualified Retirement Plans are frequently becoming the most rapidly growing assets for many Americans. Congress did not intend these "retirement" plans to be "inheritance" plans. It is a great shock to many persons when they discover that their IRAs can have dramatic declines due to cumulative taxation -if transferred to children or other non-spousal heirs. It is not uncommon for persons to experience income and estate taxation in excess of 70% on these dollars because of improper planning.
Charitable Planned Giving through our Foundation, on the other hand, helps Donors with good ideas and solutions that will give your IRA dollars to you, your family, and charitable organizations -rather than to the tax collector!

Donors can name our Foundation as beneficiary of their life insurance policies. The policy's owner must complete a form provided by the insurance company, naming the Foundation as the beneficiary of the policy's proceeds. Since this gift is considered as 'revocable' there is no current charitable contribution income tax deduction. Moreover, the value of the property is includible in the decedent's gross estate and then is deductible as a charitable transfer.
Donors may assign (give) life insurance policies outright to our Foundation and deduct the fair market value as of the time of the gift. For a paid up policy, the deduction is very close to the cash surrender value. Donors may deduct premium payments -up to 50% of adjusted gross income in any one year. The value of the property is not includible in gross estate unless the insured retained any incidents of ownership (i.e. the right to change beneficiary, take out loans, and the like). Our Foundation must be named or endorsed as the owner of the policy by the insurance company.

Donors can establish an Endowment Fund. The principal will remain invested permanently, with the earnings stream, like a wellspring, to be used in perpetuity for purposes designated by the Donor family.

Donors owning a home, farm or ranch may choose to live there for life and receive a charitable deduction by making a current gift of the calculated 'remainder interest' to our Foundation. The 'life tenant' continues to pay the maintenance, taxes and insurance, but when he or she passes away, the Foundation will receive the property. Donors can also exchange the remainder interest in their home for a Gift Annuity, effectively converting a non-earning asset into one that generates a wonderful, tax advantaged income stream!

By having an attorney draft, revise or add a simple amendment to their Will, Donors can make a charitable bequest of a dollar amount, specific property, a percentage of their estate, or what is left after all others have been taken care of. Donors should also consider contingent bequests - naming one or more charities - in case their primary beneficiaries predecease them.