The Gift Planning program seeks to advance the goals of The Catholic University of America through fund raising. The purpose of the Gift Planning program shall be to promote and administer those gifts, known as planned gifts, which, in light of the donor's particular circumstances and objectives, provide various benefits to both the donor, in terms of tax planning and estate distribution, and The Catholic University of America, in terms of its long term financial stability. Fulfillment of this purpose shall include the goals of discovering gifts already planned, cultivating productive relationships with current donors and their advisors, and identifying and pursuing new planned giving prospects, all with the aim of increasing planned gifts to the university.
II. General Policies
A. The Gift Planning program shall be conducted in a manner that does not conflict with any
academic or administrative policies, and that protects the interests of the university.
Concurrently, the interests of each donor shall be protected, and the university shall not
knowingly enter any arrangement which would jeopardize the donor's financial or estate
planning interest. In accordance with the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, all staff
members of the Office of Institutional Advancement are salaried, and shall not
receive commissions or any incentive of personal benefit in any planned giving arrangement.
B. Though certain tasks may be delegated to staff members of the Office of Institutional Advancement,
the Director of Planned Giving shall be ultimately responsible for the proper
negotiation, administration, and closure of all planned gifts made to benefit the university. All
university staff made aware of any planned giving arrangement shall provide such information
to the Director of Planned Giving. In turn, the Director of Planned Giving shall disseminate
information on the status of a planned gift to other university personnel as needed to ensure
appropriate administration and stewardship.
C. In accepting gifts which clearly fall within the Gift Planning Policies and Procedures, the
Director of Planned Giving shall endeavor to protect the interests of both the donor and the
University by consulting with other university offices where appropriate, and as stated in its
Procedures. Gift Planning Procedures is created in conjunction with the Gift Acceptance
Policies and Procedures, which governs gift administration for the Office of Institutional Advancement.
The former document will make reference to the latter where previously
established guidelines are also applicable to planned gifts. Such referencing includes, but is not
necessarily limited to, acceptable asset types.
D. A Gift Acceptance Committee (GAC) shall be relied upon to evaluate proposed gifts which do
not clearly fall within the Gift Planning Policies and Procedures, but which do merit
consideration and further clarification. Determination of which proposals warrant review by the
GAC shall be made at the discretion of the Director of Planned Giving and the GAC shall operate
pursuant to written procedures.
E. The planned giving vehicles currently accepted by the university, and explanatory details
regarding their administration, are listed in written procedures. Limitations, restrictions, and
minimum amounts are included, where appropriate, in the explanation of a particular vehicle.
Such guidelines have been established based upon current university resources and needs, and
current economic conditions, and do not account for specific circumstances which may justify
deviation through approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee.
F. The Director of Planned Giving, and by extension staff members of the Office of Institutional Advancement,
shall, to the extent appropriate, provide prospective donors with information
regarding the benefits and limitations of the relevant planned giving vehicle. All such
disclosures shall be in compliance with university policies, and with the Philanthropy Protection
Act of 1995. In addressing gift possibilities the Director of Planned Giving shall advise the donor
to consult their own attorneys and professional advisors, in light of the various possible legal,
tax , and financial planning ramifications, to ensure that the chosen course of action will
reflect their intent and be in their best interest.
G. The university shall hold in confidence all information obtained from or about donors or
prospects. The university shall not publish information about a gift without the prior approval
of the donor and where, relevant, the beneficiaries.
H. The guidelines herein contained shall be subject to periodic review, and may be amended as
necessary. Such review and amendments shall be initiated at the discretion of the Director of
Gift Planning, and conducted by the Gift Acceptance Committee as composed for that
III. Gift Planning Vehicles
The Catholic University of America currently accepts and administers gifts made through the
following planned giving instruments:
A. Deferred Gifts
1. Will Bequest
a. Definition - a Will is the legal declaration of a person's wishes as to the disposition of their
property to take effect upon their death. A bequest is a gift of any amount or form made to
the university in a donor's Will. Types of bequests can include:
i. A specific bequest can be for a specific dollar amount, or for particular securities,
tangible items, or properties.
ii. A residual bequest provides for distribution of assets remaining after payment of all
debts, expenses, and specific bequests.
iii. A contingent bequest provides for distributions of assets if certain conditions or
circumstances exist at the time of death.
2. Living Trust Bequest
a. Definition - a revocable living trust is a legal entity that allows the trustor (grantor) the
benefits of property while being relieved of the burdens, through the administration of a
Trustee. It can include provisions for asset distribution at death, including bequests as
3. Testamentary Trust
a. Definition - a testamentary trust is created under the terms of the donor's Will. Such a
trust typically reflects the donor's desire for continued management of the assets by a
Trustee after death, and the university may be named as an income or principal beneficiary
for a defined period, or as a remainder beneficiary at the conclusion of a defined period.
4. Life Insurance
a. Definition - life insurance is an arrangement in which an individual manages the inherent
risk of death, and its attendant financial implications. A life insurance policy, if purchased,
provides the security of financial recovery at the death of the insured person. The policy
itself is an asset and can be a tool in charitable giving and estate planning.
5. Retained Life Estate Deed
a. Definition - a deed is a legal, pubic document which conveys ownership of real estate
from one party to another. Through a retained life estate deed, a donor may donate a
personal residence or farm to the university, while retaining the right to live on and use the
property during his or her lifetime. Through a retained life estate deed, the donor makes an
irrevocable gift and gets an immediate income tax deduction.
6. Retirement Assets
a. Definition - retirement assets are those held in "qualified" plans which enable individuals to
save and grow assets on a tax deferred basis. Qualified plans include:
i. defined contribution plans - profit sharing plans, employee stock ownership plans
(ESOP), 401(k) plans, and money purchase pension plans.
ii. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Simplified Employee Pensions (SEP)
iii. Tax sheltered annuities and custodial accounts
B. Income Producing Gifts
1. Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs)
a. Definition - a donor can transfer assets into a charitable remainder unitrust, with the
university holding a remainder interest. Under the terms of such a trust, periodic
payments, based on a percentage of the trust market value, will be made to the donor or
a designated beneficiary, until the donor's death or for a term of years not to exceed
twenty. The payout percentage cannot be less than 5% and cannot be changed once
established. The trust is typically revalued on an annual basis to determine the payout
amounts for that year, with amounts typically differing from year to year. At the death of
the donor or the end of the trust term, the university receives the assets remaining in
2. Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRATs)
a. Definition - a donor can transfer assets into a charitable remainder annuity trust, with
the university holding a remainder interest. Under the terms of such a trust, a fixed
payment amount is established based on a percentage of the initial trust market value, and
payments in that fixed amount are made to the donor or a designated beneficiary, until the
death of the donor or the end of the trust term, a period not to exceed twenty years. At
the death of the donor or the end of the trust term, the university receives the remaining
3. Charitable Gift Annuities
a. Definition - a charitable gift annuity is a contract, under the terms of which the donor
makes a gift to the university in exchange for the university's promise to make annuity
payments of a fixed amount to the donor, or a designated beneficiary. Such annuity
payments shall begin within one year of the date of the gift.
4. Deferred Charitable Gift Annuities
a. Definition - a deferred charitable gift annuity is a contract, under the terms of which the
donor makes a gift to the university in exchange for the university's promise to make
annuity payments of a fixed amount to the donor, or a designated beneficiary, for life. For a
deferred charitable gift annuity, such payments are scheduled to begin at some future
point, at least one year after the date of the gift.
5. Charitable Lead Unitrust
a. Definition - a donor can transfer assets into a charitable lead unitrust, with the
university as current beneficiary. Under the terms of such a trust, periodic payments, based
on a percentage of the market value of the trust, will be made to the university until the
donor's death, or for a period of years not subject to limitation.
i. non-grantor charitable lead unitrust - at the death of the donor or the end of the
trust term, the remaining assets pass to designated non-charitable beneficiaries, such
as the donor's children or grandchildren. This will provide the donor with a gift or
estate tax deduction, which is beneficial in passing property to heirs. This is the most
common form of charitable lead unitrust.
ii. grantor charitable lead unitrust - at the end of the trust term, the remaining trust
assets pass back to the donor. The donor is considered throughout the trust term the
owner of the trust assets, so trust income is taxable to the donor. However, in the
year that the trust is established, the donor does get an income tax deduction based
on the present value of the income stream that will be paid to the university over the
term of the trust.
6. Charitable Lead Annuity Trust
a. Definition - a donor can transfer assets into a charitable lead annuity trust, with the
university as a current beneficiary. Under the terms of such a trust, a fixed payment
amount is established based on a percentage of the initial trust market value,
and payments in that fixed amount are made to the university until the donor's death or
for a period of years not subject to limitation.
i. non-grantor charitable lead annuity trust - the same as defined above for charitable
lead unitrusts, allowing for the difference between unitrust payments and annuity
payments to the current or "lead" beneficiary.
ii. grantor charitable lead annuity trust - the same as defined above for charitable lead
unitrusts, allowing for the difference between unitrust payments and annuity
payments to the current or "lead" beneficiary.