Posted by Harry Estroff, Real Estate Gift Manager
The Nature Conservancy often receives inquiries about gift opportunities from a variety of people who possess different financial assets and goals, but who all care deeply about nature and want to secure their financial future while helping the natural world. Below is the story of how the passion of one donor and the commitment of the Conservancy were able to turn a real estate donation into a very special gift.
Recently, one of the Conservancy’s field offices received a somewhat mysterious call from a lawyer in another state. The lawyer represented a client who she wouldn’t name at the time. This client owned a vacation property that was to be donated to The Nature Conservancy under an existing will. The client wondered if there was some way the Conservancy could help her with the real estate taxes on the property.
We, the Real Estate team at the Conservancy, saw that the ideal solution would be a combination of a retained life estate and a charitable gift annuity. Under this arrangement, called a life estate gift annuity, a donor deeds the property to the Conservancy in exchange for a lifetime annuity, while retaining the right to use it for the rest of his or her life.
Because this type of gift involves investing the Conservancy’s capital, it requires a lot of due diligence, with involvement from numerous staff from different areas of the organization. But the benefits of such a gift are many: Our donor receives enough income to cover her taxes and she continues to enjoy the use of the property for the rest of her life. She is also supporting the work of the Conservancy with an extraordinary gift and her relationship with the Conservancy is much stronger.
I tell this story because this gift is a wonderful example of how The Nature Conservancy works with donors to figure out the best options for them. That’s the benefit of planned giving—you can support the Conservancy while meeting some of your financial and charitable needs as well.
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