1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Supporting Transylvania through planned giving

As you get older and start to increase your philanthropic involvement, you may start to hear more about planned giving. But for many of us, we ask, “What’s planned giving? Don’t I plan all of my gifts?” And while you may plan to give to Transy every year, you may not have started estate planning yet. Let’s discuss it.

1. What is it? When we talk about planned giving, it basically refers to the different ways you can financially support Transy, either without making a direct cash (or card, check, Venmo, etc.) donation or after your passing.

Diana McKenzie ’95, Transy’s director of planned giving and associate director of regional advancement, reminds us, “It is a common misconception that planned giving is only for the extremely wealthy or older population. You’re never too young to begin planning for your financial and charitable future.”

2. What are the different ways? Well, it can vary based on preference, income, tax goals and more. Some of the most popular options are:

  • Outright Gifts of Appreciated Securities: One example is donating stocks you have held, which can help you avoid capital gains taxes while supporting a scholarship, initiative or program you believe in.
  • Donor Advised Funds: These allow you to receive tax benefits right now for a larger, one-time donation while giving you plenty of time to decide where the funds will actually go. 
  • A Gift in Your Will or Living Trust: This could be cash, real estate, stocks and more. All it takes is one line! And whether you include Transy or not, it’s a good idea to go ahead and make a will. We offer a free personal estate planning kit to get you started. 
  • Beneficiary Designations: Transy could be the recipient of your retirement accounts or life insurance policies in the event of your passing.

3. What if I’m over 50? Over 70? There are more planned giving options that become available as you get older — perks of seniority! For those 70 ½ , you can donate from your IRA without having to pay income taxes. And donors who are 59 ½  can take a distribution and make a gift without penalty. It turns out those half birthdays mattered all along! There are many more options, too, that can benefit you and Transy, including some that provide life income to the donor. 

4. How does this apply to me? The big question on everyone’s mind. We know most people won’t have the means to make a “really big” gift in their lifetime, but planned giving is one way to make it possible. Maybe you consider listing Transy as a beneficiary on your life insurance or retirement plan. Or perhaps next time you speak with your financial planner, ask them about ways a gift to Transy can offset some of your tax costs. 

If you decide to take advantage of one of these giving options, let the advancement office know. The Morrison Society celebrates those who plan to honor Transy in the future. Finally, you can check out our legacy planning website to learn more. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Diana McKenzie

1780 | the Official Blog of Transylvania University