Those Golden Geese

By Jackie Jacobs

In the children’s tale, “Jack and the Bean Stock,” we read about a goose that lays golden eggs. Every morning, a few more golden eggs. A perpetual supply of wealth. What a concept!

Endowments are the golden geese of the non-profit world. They are something to crow about. Every year they produce cash to help us meet our financial needs.

Some endowments provide resources for general operating budgets. Others provide income for special programs and projects.

While you may have difficulty creating a goose to lay golden eggs, you can easily establish an endowment fund.

First, determine the purpose of your endowment. That is, what do you want to accomplish? Is there a particular agency or synagogue that you favor? A favorite program that you want to help underwrite? Or maybe you simply want to make sure the operating budget receives an annual boost.

Some donors create an endowment to provide an annual gift at a level similar to what they currently give. These are called Annual Campaign Endowments. For example, a person who gives $1,000 annually to the Federation can put $25,000 into an endowment that will provide at least that much money every year in their name.

In addition to deciding the amount to use in launching your endowment, you should consider the type of asset you will use. While you can use cash, it may be better to fund the endowment with appreciated securities, or perhaps even real estate. Your appreciated assets can be sold without you incurring capital gains tax when the endowment is established at a qualified public charity.

Endowments can also be created with estate gifts through a will or trust. Another possibility is life insurance. You can combine current and deferred giving by creating your endowment now and then add to it later with an estate gift.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 614-338-2365 if you would like to create a “golden egg” endowment. I will answer your questions and help you design an endowment for maximum benefit.

Jackie Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, the Central Ohio Jewish community’s planned giving and endowment headquarters.

This article has been modified from the one originally published in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, April 2, 2015.

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