When Nobel laureate Dr. Johann Deisenhofer began considering making a gift to benefit the Medical Center that has become his "second home," he carefully weighed his options. For years the professor, a member of the Green Center for Systems Biology and of the department of biophysics at UT Southwestern, had thought about giving to the Foundation; but thinking ahead to his retirement, he thought it wise not to deplete his current assets.
Like many others, Dr. Deisenhofer wanted a planned gift that could do two things: benefit the recipient while also benefiting the benefactor.
The scientist found what he was looking for in a charitable gift annuity, a planned gift that provides donors with a lifetime income, tax benefits and personal satisfaction.
"It was important to me to support UT Southwestern-something I've wanted to do for a long time, but I recognized that there were financial needs that would have to be met before I could commit to making the gift," said Dr. Deisenhofer, who has made a major planned gift to the Foundation. "This type of donation appealed to me simply because it appeared to be a win-win situation. Because I made the gift more than five years ago, knowing that it will benefit the Medical Center has been a great source of satisfaction to my wife and me.
"Heading into the future, it is reassuring to know that income from the deferred gift annuity will contribute to satisfying my personal financial needs in addition to ultimately benefiting an institution I admire and love. I couldn't expect more from an investment."
The charitable gift annuity-a contract between an individual and a charity-guarantees that the individual receives a lifetime fixed payment based on the donor's age and the amount of the gift. Because the payments are fixed, the income provided by the gift is protected from the volatility of the economic marketplace.
"The charitable gift annuity can be a very wise charitable and investment strategy," said Mr. Randal Daugherty, director of planned giving for the UT Southwestern Medical Center. "This type of gift is especially appealing because its benefits-to the donor and to the charity-are so significant. The gift annuity serves several different functions, which sets it apart from other more traditional gifts."
Family and loved ones can also receive benefits from this type of planned gift in arrangements called two-life gift annuities. For example, income payments can be made to both the donor and a chosen annuitant for their joint lifetime. Upon the death of the first annuitant, the payments continue throughout the life of the survivor.
"Determining what planned gift is right for you is just as important as making the gift itself," Mr. Daugherty noted. "The correct plan balances what you wish to accomplish for yourself, your family and your charitable interests in your overall estate and financial plans."