December 15, 2014

If the answer to that is yes, and you’d like to leave something to Lutherans For Life (LFL) after you go to heaven, a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) is something you should look into.

Please let me explain.

A CGA is not a commercial annuity. Instead, it is a contract between a charity and the donor. The donor transfers a gift of cash to a charity, which in turn pays an annuity to the same donor for one or two lives. After the death of the donor(s), the remainder of the gift is sent to the donor-designated charity.

How does a Gift Annuity work?
Example: Bill, 83, and his wife Mary, 81, want a $25,000 gift annuity to provide them regular payments and a way to support LFL after the Lord calls them home. They contact Lutherans For Life, who in turn arranges for a CGA to be established. They then forward a gift check for $25,000 along with a completed application which formally establishes the annuity.

Based on their ages, they know they will receive a gift annuity rate of 6.3 percent. That means they will receive annual annuity payments of $1,575 in total each year for their lifetimes. Of this, $1,255 will be tax free! Since a portion of the gift annuity is a charitable contribution, the couple also gets an additional $11,451 income tax deduction for the year they establish the annuity. After Bill’s death, Mary will continue to receive her regular payments. After her death, the remaining balance on the couple’s CGA will go to LFL.

In general, annuity payments and the amount that eventually goes to the designated ministry are based on life expectancy. If the Lord calls Bill and Mary home at the age of their respective life expectancy, about half of the couple’s original $25,000 will go to LFL. If they die before their life expectancy age, a larger amount goes to the ministry. (If they live beyond their life expectancy, the ministry receives less.)

How can I establish a Gift Annuity?
The first step is to contact me at 512.468.9777 or via email at Based on your birth date(s) and how much you would like to consider establishing the annuity for, I will be able to get back to you with a rate of return, dollar amount of your charitable deduction, etc. (This information is to determine if an annuity could work for you. You are under no obligation and no pressure will be applied). Please note a gift annuity may be established with as little as $5,000.

More information on giving opportunities can be found on our Give page.

John Hawkins is director of development for Lutherans For Life.