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Charitable Giving: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

give back with charitable giving

In the realm of estate planning, a harmonious synergy between financial legacy and philanthropy has emerged through the strategic use of charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATs), charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs), and pooled income funds. These innovative estate planning tools not only offer donors an avenue to secure their financial future but also present nonprofit organizations with sustainable, long-term support for their missions.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRATs):

CRATs serve as a beacon for individuals seeking a stable income stream during their lifetime while preserving a legacy for their chosen charitable cause. Donors contribute assets to the trust, and in return, receive a fixed annual payout. This predictable income provides financial security for the donors, allowing them to plan for their needs while ensuring a lasting impact on their preferred charitable organization. CRATs shine for risk-averse individuals who value stability and wish to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs):

CRUTs introduce a dynamic element to philanthropic estate planning, offering donors a variable income stream based on a percentage of the trust's fair market value. This flexible approach allows donors to benefit from market fluctuations, potentially increasing their income over time. CRUTs attract individuals who wish to balance their commitment to philanthropy with the opportunity for investment growth. Like CRATs, the remaining assets in the trust transfer to the designated nonprofit organization upon the donor's passing, solidifying their philanthropic legacy.

Pooled Income Funds:

Pooled income funds bring a collaborative spirit to philanthropy by combining the contributions of multiple donors into a professionally managed investment pool. This collective approach enables donors to participate in philanthropy with more modest contributions while benefiting from the expertise of experienced fund managers. Pooled income funds are particularly advantageous for those with smaller estates, creating an inclusive space for individuals to join forces in supporting charitable causes. Donors still retain the ability to specify the charitable beneficiaries of their contributions.

Benefits for Donors:

1. Tax Efficiency: All three strategies offer immediate charitable income tax deductions for donors, providing a powerful incentive for philanthropic engagement.

2. Financial Security: CRATs and CRUTs provide donors with either a fixed or variable income stream, ensuring financial stability during their lifetime.

3. Legacy Building: By designating nonprofit organizations as beneficiaries, donors create a lasting legacy, contributing to the sustained success of causes close to their hearts.

Benefits for Nonprofit Organizations:

1. Predictable Funding: Charitable trusts offer nonprofit organizations a reliable and steady source of funding, allowing them to plan and execute long-term projects with confidence.

2. Diverse Donor Participation: Pooled income funds broaden the philanthropic community by encouraging individuals with varying financial capacities to contribute collectively, fostering a sense of shared purpose and inclusivity.


Charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable remainder unitrusts, and pooled income funds are transformative tools that bridge the worlds of estate planning and philanthropy. These strategies empower donors to create a lasting impact while securing their financial well-being and provide nonprofit organizations with the stable support needed to fulfill their missions. As the landscape of philanthropy evolves, these innovative estate planning mechanisms continue to play a pivotal role in shaping a future where financial legacies seamlessly intertwine with charitable endeavors.

To learn more about how we can help you or your non-profit organization, call us today at (513) 916-1600.


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