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Ways to Donate

CalArts is supported by alumni, parents and friends in many ways:

However you choose to support CalArts — and at whatever level — your generosity is both essential and truly appreciated. Every gift counts. To initiate any one of these gifts, please contact Sally Bickerton, Director of Leadership Gifts at 661.253.7718 or email sbickerton@calarts.edu.

CalArts' tax identification number is 95-6102146.

Appreciated Assets or Securities

You can make your gift to CalArts by contributing appreciated assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate. Your tax advantages are maximized if you donate appreciated assets that you've owned for more than one year. You obtain an income tax charitable deduction for the full current market value of the asset, and you avoid the capital gains tax that you would have paid if you sold the asset outright.

You may deduct your total charitable gifts of appreciated property for the year for up to thirty percent of your adjusted gross income for that year. If your total charitable gifts of appreciated property for the year exceed 30 percent of your AGI, you may carry over the excess for up to five subsequent years.

Whether you hold your securities in certificate form, or in a brokerage account, we can provide simple instructions on making your gift of appreciated securities, including stock transfer forms and a form letter of instructions for your broker.

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Assets to Heirs

You can make a gift to CalArts that ultimately benefits your family and heirs with little or no tax penalty. This arrangement, the lead trust, is designed to pay income to CalArts over a number of years. At the end of the trust term, the remaining principal, including appreciation, passes to your children, or to other designated heirs. Because the lead trust generates substantial estate tax savings, your heirs can receive a greater inheritance than if you gave or bequeathed the assets to them directly and fully subject to tax.

A similar type of lead trust can be designed to return the remaining trust assets to you. This type of lead trust generates a substantial income tax charitable deduction for the donor in the year the trust is established. The deduction is based on the income that the trust will pay to CalArts in future years. This type of trust can be especially helpful in tax planning when the donor desires a large tax deduction to offset an unusually high taxable income in one year.

Example: Annette is aware the current tax laws will substantially diminish the value of her children's inheritance. She transfers $250,000 to a CalArts lead trust, instructing the trust to pay 5 percent each year to CalArts for a period of 12 years. The assets are invested to earn a 10 percent annual total return. Over the trust term, CalArts will receive a total of $124,000. After 12 years, Annette's children will receive $350,000 from the trust. If Annette had held the assets instead in the same investment, her heirs would receive less than $290,000, based on the current highest federal income and estate tax rates.

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Corporate Matching Gifts

Matching gift programs are the most effective and valued initiatives created by corporations to help colleges and universities raise much-needed funds for educational purposes. CalArts has been a grateful beneficiary of these matching gift programs for many years.

After making a gift to CalArts, you can participate in a corporate matching gift program by obtaining a matching gift form from your (or your spouse's) employer's personnel office, and by following the directions for initiating a matching gift.

A matching gift from your company not only enriches the Institute's educational and student aid programs, but also demonstrates your company's commitment to education.

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Life Insurance

When properly arranged, life insurance offers an attractive way to leverage relatively low premium payments to make a major gift to CalArts. If you no longer need all the life insurance that you own, you may want to name CalArts as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary. Any benefit CalArts receives from your insurance will be excluded from your taxable estate.

By taking the additional step of naming CalArts irrevocable beneficiary and owner of your life insurance policy, you obtain an income tax charitable deduction equivalent to either the policy's cash surrender value or replacement value. If additional premium payments are due, you can deduct those premiums as charitable contributions each year.

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Gifts of Personal Property

You can make a gift to CalArts in the form of tangible personal property, such as artwork, antiques, books, furniture, etc. Your tax deduction will depend on the type of item you contribute and whether CalArts has an appropriate use for it.

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Gift of Real Estate

Real estate can be contributed outright or through a life-income gift. You can contribute your entire property or a fractional interest of it. You can even contribute your personal residence but continue to reside there for the rest of your life. This type of gift allows you to continue to enjoy your home without diminishing your standard of living, while obtaining a substantial current income tax charitable deduction.

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Retirement Plan Assets

By naming CalArts as survivor beneficiary of your qualified retirement plan, you can improve your estate's overall tax consequences and increase the amount passing to your children or heirs. A qualified retirement plan works well for saving for retirement, but not for passing assets to heirs. Retirement plan assets are subject to multiple layers of taxation at the owner's death, in the form of federal and state estate tax as well as income tax. As a result, retirement assets are taxed much more heavily than other estate assets. If left to a non-spouse, taxes can claim in excess of 75 percent of a plan's accumulations.

However, careful planning for the disposition of retirement plan assets will avoid unnecessary tax costs. By naming a charity as survivor beneficiary of your retirement assets, the gift becomes completely exempt from estate tax, income tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax, permitting you to make your gift at very low actual cost to your heirs. If you intend to leave a legacy to CalArts through your will, prudent planning might call for you to make your gift from retirement plan assets instead, leaving the lesser-taxed assets to your family.

Example: Bernard, a widower, is planning his estate. He intends to bequeath $400,000 to CalArts through his will. His daughter is named as survivor beneficiary of his IRA, which contains $400,000. Bernard's gift to CalArts will result in no estate or income taxes. The IRA will pass to his daughter without estate taxes because it falls within the estate unified credit amount, but it will be subject to income tax when the daughter receives it.  At a combined federal and state income tax rate of 35 percent, the daughter will receive only $260,000 from the IRA. However, if Bernard rearranges his estate to bequeath $400,000 to his daughter through his will, and name CalArts as survivor beneficiary of his IRA, then Bernard's gift to both CalArts and his daughter will be free of all estate and income taxes. This tax-wise arrangement saves $140,000 in taxes for the benefit of Bernard's daughter. This example demonstrates the critical importance of thinking about the survivorship designations of your retirement plans in light of your overall estate planning.

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Will or Living Trust

Your bequest to CalArts, through your will or living trust, can take any of a number of forms. You can bequeath a specific dollar amount, or a portion of what remains after your obligations to others are fulfilled. You can designate your bequest to support CalArts as a whole, or you can establish a permanent named fund for scholarships, program support, professorships, or the like.

A bequest or gift through a living trust yields estate tax advantages while perpetuating your annual support for CalArts. You can include CalArts in your will or living trust by using the following language: "I give, devise and bequeath [assets/percent share of the residue of my estate] to the California Institute of the Arts, a California education corporation.”

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Last edited by cziemba on Apr 08, 2015
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