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Planned giving, sometimes referred to as gift planning, is a major gift that uses current tax laws to maximize the gift's impact on the organization and return financial benefits to the donor. It enables philanthropic individuals or donors to make larger gifts than they could make from their income. While some planned gifts provide a life-long income to the donor, others use estate and tax planning techniques to provide for charity and other heirs in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on the donor's estate.
Thus, by definition, a planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor's overall financial and/or estate planning.
By contrast, gifts to the annual fund or for membership dues are made from a donor's discretionary income, and while they may be budgeted for, they are not planned.
Whether a donor uses cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests, personal property, life insurance, a retirement plan, etc., the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving very attractive to both donor and charity.
For specific, commonly asked questions on planned gifts, or gift planning in general, refer to our Answers pages.