Planning Your Gift
Opportunities for You - Rebuilding Endowment
Committee on Development Meeting
February 27, 2009
The Hamilton family continues to uplift us. Recognizing Hamilton's need, a member of the 50th reunion class, who intended to contribute appreciated securities to a gift annuity, will contribute the same amount in cash to the Annual Fund.
We are working with two alumni on endowments to be funded this fiscal year. One donor has and the other intends to complete a generous Annual Fund contribution in addition to the capital gift.
Five donors completed gift annuities and two real estate contributions are under consideration, demonstrating that life-time planned gifts remain attractive in these times.
Even with positive news, donors are completing fewer life-time planned gifts than in recent years. Given the landscape, Hamilton's traditions and the advice of consultants, Dick Tantillo, Joni Chizzonite and I believe that we should focus on estate gifts as well as our "service orientation." We intend to put Hamilton in a position to, "Do well by doing good," and be poised for the recovery.
Planned gift marketing has carried a theme of "service" for nearly 30 years, since Chair Milt Kayle '43, my predecessor David Crabb '60 and Joe Anderson '44 initiated a formal program. For example, we have and will continue to remind alumni of:
1. The need to have a Will to protect your family and your assets;
2. Opportunities provided by the financial markets, such as asset transfer strategies;
3. The powerful benefits of Roth IRAs for children and grandchildren.
In addition, we are communicating with our planned gift donors, especially donors whose payments depend upon an annual valuation. Similar to the endowment, Hamilton's portfolio of planned gifts shrunk to about $62 million from $82 million. Our correspondence has carried the message, "As each trust portfolio is rebalanced, it will purchase equities inexpensively, providing an opportunity to increase trust market value as the financial markets improve."
And continued, "Over the years, more than one donor observed that the quickest way to re-build unitrust market value to increase payments and remainder value for philanthropic objectives is to make an addition to your unitrust when the financial markets have declined. You may wish to consider if and when this strategy makes sense for you."
We continually remind our colleagues that additional contributions are the best way to rebuild the endowment as well as unitrusts. Every one of us can bring a simple message to our constituents: "Let's contribute cash to the endowment to allow the Investment Committee to purchase securities at bargain prices as the financial markets begin to recover."
As noted in the December Planned Giving Minute, asset transfer strategies, including lead trusts, are especially attractive for two reasons, the financial markets have discounted the assets and the Discount Rate, a variable used in determining the gift tax deduction, is at an all-time low.
In summary, planned giving is working from strength, adapting to change, positioning for the future, focusing on "service" and looking for opportunities in these challenging times.