Charitable Gift Annuities

Icon of an hourglass and money, representing financial returns over time.When people think of a charitable donation, what usually comes to mind is a single transaction when a donor gives something away permanently, receiving no goods or services in return. After the gift is complete, the charitable organization puts the cash or donated assets to work support the organization’s mission.

For almost 180 years, Americans have had been using another way to support their charity and support themselves at the same time: the Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). Together with the Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT), CGAs provide income—usually for life—in exchange for a donation of assets.

Income-Producing Gifts

At the heart of these types of gifts is a balance between current lifetime needs and future charitable needs, with the donor enjoying the near-term benefits succeeded by the charity putting the donated assets to work. They can be thought of as gifts where the donor gives the assets but keeps the income.

What happens at the end of a CGA or CRT?

Upon the death of the last annuitant or income beneficiary, the remainder value of the CGA or CRT is then available for whatever charitable use was designated by the donor. Thus, it is important to consider that if a scholarship or particular program is selected, the funds will not be available to it until many years in the future. Still, to particular donors CGAs and CRTs represent an ideal balance of meeting income needs and making a significant charitable gift.