Leave a Legacy for Liberty

May 29, 2012

Nearly six years ago, the Institute for Justice launched an exciting new program called the Four Pillars Society as a way to honor our friends and supporters who choose to include IJ in their will or other long-term financial plans.

Since 2006, membership in the Four Pillars Society has grown ten-fold.  Every year more IJ donors inform us that they have chosen to leave a legacy of liberty by helping us advance freedom in economic liberty, private property rights, school choice and free speech.  I hope you will consider joining the Four Pillars Society.  Members provide the resources IJ will need as we continue to defend individual liberty well into the future.

A number of different gifts qualify you for membership in the Four Pillars Society.  The simplest include naming the Institute for Justice in your will or living trust, and making IJ a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy.

We also work with donors to set up “life-income” plans.  One of the most common of these plans is a charitable gift annuity.  Charitable gift annuities allow a donor to make a gift to IJ while at the same time securing income for life.

A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract that pays you (and an optional second beneficiary) a fixed, guaranteed, partially tax-free income stream in return for your contribution of cash or appreciated securities.  You also receive an immediate income tax deduction and, for gifts of appreciated stock, capital gains tax savings.  The payout rate depends on the ages of the income beneficiaries, with older individuals receiving higher payout rates than younger individuals.

Sample payout rates for an immediate, one-life annuity are as follows:

IJ offers immediate payment gift annuities to donors age 65 and above.  For donors under age 65, we offer deferred payment gift annuities, which provide an immediate income tax deduction and income payments beginning at some point after age 65, possibly to supplement retirement income.

Here is a simple example of how an immediate payment annuity works:

John Q. Justice, age 75, establishes a charitable gift annuity with IJ with a donation of $25,000 in cash.  He receives a charitable deduction of $10,465 and a fixed, annual income of $1,450 for life, based on a 5.8 percent payout rate.  A portion of the income will be tax-free, and a portion will be taxed as ordinary income.

If you are interested in a personal gift annuity example or information about other ways to support the Institute for Justice through planned giving, please feel free to contact me anytime at (703) 682-9320 x. 222 or [email protected].  If you have already included IJ in your plans, please let us know so that we can thank you properly.

Melanie Hildreth is IJ’s director of donor relations.

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