Endowment Corner: Boy Scouts of America Gift Annuity Program

One of the most beneficial programs that the BSA offers to near or current retirees is the Gift Annuity Program. This program offers the giver both the opportunity to receive an attractive current income stream and benefit the Cherokee Area Council Endowment.

What is the Annuity Program?

The BSA Gift Annuity Program allows you to make a gift to the Cherokee Area Council Endowment and receive both a guaranteed life-time income and a charitable income tax deduction. The income is paid each quarter for one or two lives, as you choose. You can decide whether you want the payments to begin immediately or deter them until later.

What Kind of a Gift Must I Make?

Though the gift can be as large as you want, it must be a minimum of $2,500 to receive a gift annuity. Your gift can be made with cash, stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares.

How Much Income Would I Receive Each Year?

It depends on age. To receive a current gift annuity, you must be a least 50 years of age at the time of your gift. But the older you are, the higher the annuity rate. Once your annuity is set, the payments will not change of the life of the annuity. The BSA normally use the rates of return recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities. If you choose to defer the start of your payments – for example, to coincide with your retirement – your annual annuity rate will be higher than for annuities that begin paying you now.

Can I Have the Annuity Payments Go to Others than Me?

Most people choose a spouse, but you can create a gift annuity for children, parents, retiring employees, or anyone else you choose. However, you should check with your tax advisor about possible gift tax issues.

How Would the Income Be Taxed?

If you use cash to make your gift, a large portion of each payment is usually tax-free; the rest of the payment will be taxable income. If you make your gift with stock or other appreciated property, each annuity payment will be a mix of tax-free income, ordinary income, and capital gain. When you create a gift annuity (or when you request personalized information), you will receive a summary of how your annuity payments will be taxed.

Are There Other Tax Benefits?

When you create your gift annuity, you are entitled to an immediate income tax charitable deduction. It is based on the fair market value of your gift. It varies with the annuity return and the age of the beneficiaries (as a rule, older beneficiaries receive larger charitable tax deductions). The gift may also save probate costs and estate taxes (since the property is no longer in your estate). If you make your gift with appreciated property, you also spread out any capital gains over the life of the annuity, rather than pay it all at once.

How Will My Local Council Benefit From This Gift?

Though this program is offered through the BSA National Council, your gift can be used to benefit the Cherokee Area Council. When your gift annuity payments end, the remaining value of your gift is distributed to the Cherokee Area Council to benefit our Scouting programs. At that time, a small percentage of your gift is used to cover part of the administrative costs incurred for your gift annuity.

Example: Mr. and Mrs. Jones (ages 70 and 68) make a gift of $10,000 to the National Gift Annuity Program. They make their gift using stock with an annual dividend of 2 percent.

Their gift annuity gives them a current income tax deduction of about $2,600 and a guaranteed annuity of $650 a year for the rest of their lives. This more than triples their current income from this stock, and part of each payment will be tax-free for years to come.

If you would like more information about this or other ways to make a charitable gift, please contact John Howk. You can reach him at 918-293-7572 or contact the Scout Service center to arrange an appointment.

Please note: The information in this communication is not legal or tax advice. The BSA Cherokee Area Council # 469 is pleased to offer complimentary gift and estate planning assistance, however, we urge you to seek the advice of a competent professional before implementing any ideas we suggest to you.

Endowment Recognition Awards

The Boy Scouts of America offers three distinct recognition awards.

The James E. West Fellowship Program

James E. West was the first Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, and he served in that position for more than three decades. The West Fellowship award is available for gifts of $1,000 and up in cash or marketable securities to a council endowment fund. The gift must be in addition to – and not replace or diminish – the donor’s annual Friends of Scouting support. Many individuals and corporations make these gifts either on behalf of someone else – such as in honor of an Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver recipient, a retirement, a special accomplishment, or anniversary – or in memory of a special individual.

The 1910 Society

Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has grown into something larger and more significant than anyone anticipated. We honor that special date by presenting the 1910 Society award to donors who make gifts of $25,000 or more to their council endowments. These gifts can be in the form of cash, securities, land, five-year pledges, or other property suitable for a council endowment fund or easily converted to cash.

There are four levels of recognition in the 1910 Society that honor four very special individuals who shaped modern-day Scouting:

1) Ernest Thompson Seton, nationally known artist and naturalist, author of the first official American Scout handbook and many other books important to Scouting:

Seton Level membership: $25,000 minimum gift

2) Daniel Carter Beard, first chairman of the National Court of Honor; national Scout commissioner, and author of many well-known books and stories for youth;

Beard Level membership: $100,000 minimum gift

3) Theodore Roosevelt, first Chief Scout Citizen, first vice president of the BSA, and president of the United States,

Roosevelt Level membership: $500,000 minimum gift

4) Waite Phillips, one of the BSA’s first benefactors, and donor to the BSA of almost 130,000 acres of land in New Mexico which became Philmont Scout Ranch;

Phillips Level membership: $1,000,000 and up

Phillips Silver Level: $5,000,000 minimum gift

Phillips Gold Level: $10,000,000 minimum gift

The Founders Circle

The Founders Circle, is intended to recognize deferred gifts designated for council endowment funds.  Donors are recognized for gift commitments with a minimum value of $100,000. Unlike the other endowment recognition awards, a donor may qualify for membership with gifts made through:

  • Charitable bequests in a will or codicil
  • Charitable trusts, such as unitrusts, annuity trusts, and lead trusts
  • BSA Gift Annuities or BSA Pooled Income Fund gifts
  • Life insurance/retirement plan designations
  • Other deferred gifts approved by the local council

As with the 1910 Society, there are four levels of membership within the Founders Circle. They are:

  • Bronze $100,000 minimum gift commitment
  • Silver $250,000 minimum gift commitment
  • Gold $500,000 minimum gift commitment
  • Platinum $1,000,000 minimum gift commitment

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