Planned Giving

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    The 2016 Planned Giving Study
    (2016-09-21) Osili, Una; Kou, Xiaonan; Bergdoll, Jonathan; St. Claire, Mallory; Yang, Le
    Charitable bequests and other planned gifts have historically played a significant role in the funding of higher education institutions. Prominent institutions such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Julliard School have been established as a direct result of bequests, and these gifts continue to have a profound impact today. The field of planned giving has become more sophisticated over time. However, the complexity of various planned giving vehicles and the comparatively long time period required for planned gifts to be formalized make it difficult for researchers to systematically track and examine planned giving behavior. Existing studies, therefore, heavily rely on self-reported survey data or tax returns. This study is one of the first efforts that seek to understand the changing landscape of planned giving and to explore donor life-cycle trajectories at higher education institutions. This whitepaper is the first in what is hoped to be a series of reports based upon data on planned gifts and donors in the field of higher education. The whitepaper discusses findings from five case-study universities located across the U.S. As the study expands the sample to include more universities and colleges in the next phase, this report series will offer richer data and insights into more underexplored, yet important, questions in planned giving.
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    Repeal of the Estate Tax and Its Impact on Philanthropy
    (2001) Rooney, Patrick; Tempel, Eugene
    The estate tax has many advocates and opponents. We present a review of the primary arguments and empirical evidence promulgated in support of continuation and for repeal. Overall, we find that there are plausible theories and strong, but not definitive, empirical evidence on both sides of the issue. Further research is needed that more clearly isolates differences between the income-tax and estate-tax (that is, the after-tax cost or price of a donation or bequest) effects, the independent-income and wealth effects (how having higher income or wealth has an effect on giving during life and at death), and married and single estate tax filers. These differences can be best isolated using longitudinal data. Data and analyses for both the short run and long run are necessary before society can reasonably predict the impact the repeal of the estate tax will have on both giving during life and charitable bequests.
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    Estimating charitable giving by will bequest for Giving USA
    (11/18/2005) Brown, Melissa S.; Havens, John J.; Rooney, Patrick M.
    In a typical year since 2000, Giving USA has estimated that living individuals contributed 75 percent of total charitable gifts and that estates contributed about 7 or 8 percent, with institutional donors donating the balance. The estimating procedure used for estate contributions relies extensively on amounts claimed by estate tax returns as deductions for charitable contributions. Giving USA supplements the tax return data with an estimate of giving by estates that fall below the tax filing threshold. As the estate tax filing threshold began increasing and tax rates began decreasing in 2001, a number of authors (Joulfaian 2000; Gale & Bakija; Greene and McClelland) predict declining charitable contributions from bequest gifts. With fewer estates tax returns filed, and the possibility that none will be filed after 2010, the impact of the reduced tax rates must be measured using new methods that do not rely so extensively on tax return data. Giving USA has been investigating and continues to investigate alternative methods to estimate charitable bequests that do not rely so heavily on estate tax return data. This paper reports the results of this effort and describes the bequest estimating procedure adopted for use in Giving USA beginning with the 2005 edition. This procedure incorporates survey results showing bequest amounts received at higher educational institutions and estimates charitable bequests made by estates below the federal filing threshold. The paper concludes that to track changes resulting from lowered tax rates and higher filing thresholds adequately, alternative data sources will need to be developed.