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Simplifying Complex Giving

October, 17 2018

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Panelists Carolyn Newham of CFT, Scott Deke of Bessemer Trust, Bonnie Brennan of Christie's, and Monica Egert Smith of CFT spoke about complex giving at CFT in April.

While assets that are most tax advantageous to give may be complex, your charitable giving doesn’t have to be. 

Prior to Peggy and David Rockefeller’s record-breaking art auction this spring, Communities Foundation of Texas held an event in partnership with Christie’s and Bessemer Trust that shared the story behind the Rockefeller family’s philanthropy and highlighted ways to give complex assets, such as art, to charity.

The Rockefeller collection of 1,500 items brought in $832.6 million—the highest ever for a private collection at auction. All of the estate’s proceeds from what is now the most significant charitable auction in history will be directed to charity. In a statement, David Rockefeller, Jr. said: “The auction exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Christie’s and our family had a shared financial goal of raising more than $500 million in estate proceeds for the 12 philanthropies our parents cared about so deeply, and it has been both humbling and deeply gratifying to see a sale total that reaches so far beyond that. These funds will provide very meaningful support to important institutions and foundations devoted to scientific research and higher education, support for the arts, foreign policy, and the conservation of coastal and agricultural lands.”

“We love helping people think creatively to find ways to give that make the most sense for them with the resources and assets they have," says Carolyn Newham, Senior Director of Donor Relations at CFT. "We have the expertise to find the right way to make these work for each individual, family or business.”

The following are a few examples of complex gifts Communities Foundation of Texas has accepted:

Real Estate to Real Impact

A local CPA recommended that his client partner with CFT when the client was looking into how a property here in Dallas could help fund their philanthropy.

Working with the client, CFT was able to accept and place a percentage of the business into a donor-advised fund where it will produce income that can be used for grantmaking to nonprofits. In the event that the business is sold, that sale will further add to their charitable impact and legacy. CFT works with each scenario to provide the best outcome for the client and the advisor in order to maximize the client’s tax benefits while fueling the client’s philanthropy.

The Art of Giving

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Longtime friends of CFT, Linda Buford and her late husband Bob Buford were stunned when two contemporary paintings they owned were appraised at 50 times what they had paid for the paintings when originally purchased in 1981.

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With the new appraisal, the Bufords began to think of the paintings more as an investment that had appreciated than as beautiful artwork, and they worried about how light and humidity might affect their value. They decided to gift the paintings to Linda’s donor-advised fund at CFT so that CFT could sell the art at auction and Linda could recommend more grants to their favorite charitable causes.

The Bufords donated the paintings to CFT, and CFT handled the details necessary for selling the paintings at a fall contemporary art auction in New York, which Bob and Linda attended. CFT negotiated details of the consignment agreement, insured the paintings and arranged for them to be transported to New York in order to be photographed for the auction catalog.

“We enjoyed the paintings for many years, and for the past few years we’ve been able to experience more joy by using their value to help others,” said Linda.

New Uses for Antiques

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your favorite possessions beyond your lifetime? What about gifting those of high value to charity? Creating provisions in your estate can be an impactful way to further your philanthropic passions long beyond your lifetime, and CFT can often be the perfect partner to facilitate this on your behalf.

One of CFT’s donors has been a longtime collector. She has a collection of antiques that are very meaningful to her and wants to keep these items that bring her joy with her during her life. But beyond her lifetime, she will use these cherished assets to create her charitable legacy.

For her, that means supporting her favorite animal causes. She has created a provision in her estate plan stipulating that proceeds from the sale of her collection will support animals in need for years to come through a named fund at CFT. CFT is honored to support her passions on her behalf long into the future.

Learn more at www.cftexas.org/assets or contact Geri Jacobs, Director of Charitable Gift Planning, at gjacobs@cftexas.org or 214-750-4226.

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