Charitable Gift Annuities – Creating a ‘Win-Win’ Situation

CHICAGO, IL (May 6, 2010) – A wide range of ministries throughout the Evangelical Covenant Church have received more than $19.6 million from gift annuities to help further their mission since 1978.

That accomplishment is being celebrated during the month of May, which is designated as Charitable Gift Annuity Month throughout the denomination.

A charitable gift annuity is an irrevocable gift that provides both lifetime payouts to the donor and an eventual gift to one or more Covenant ministries of the donor’s choice, notes Covenant Trust Company President Charles Walles.

“Deferred gifts like those generated by charitable gift annuities are vital to the future of all Covenant ministries,” Walles says. He quickly adds that in addition to the $19.6 million already at work, “there are future gift annuity expectancies of more than $16 million designated for churches, camps, conferences and denominational ministries.”

To help explain how a charitable gift annuity works, Walles offered the example of one single woman of moderate means who wanted an income stream that would last the rest of her life. She also wanted to make a gift to North Park University.

In 1960, she set up a charitable gift annuity, which she funded with $25,000. “Our generous donor recently passed away,” Walles notes. “She received more than $53,200 in payouts over the years from her gift annuity.  After her death, the amount that remained for distribution to North Park came to $37,297! This means her original $25,000 generated a total of $90,510.”

Although every gift annuity may not achieve results like these, the benefits to both donor and charity are significant, Walles says. “Everybody wins with a charitable gift annuity.”

Gift annuity benefits include:

  • A federal income tax charitable contribution deduction for the donor
  • A lifetime payout at attractive rates (determined by age)
  • A payout rate that does not change over the life of the gift annuity
  • A tax excludable income for a period of years
  • A significant future gift to charity

For more information, visit the Covenant Trust Company website where you can explore further the gift annuity option, contact a trust company representative, schedule a gift annuity workshop for some ministry, or obtain other general information about trust company services.

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