Gift Planning

Philanthropy typically accounts for 45% of The Hastings Center’s annual revenue. Popular ways to give include Cash, Check, Securities, DAFs, or IRAs. However, gift planning (sometimes referred to as planned, legacy, or estate giving) offers many other options for supporting our work.

Interested in learning more? Ask yourself these four questions—or contact Ryan Sauder (sauderr@thehastingscenter.org; 717-468-5835, cell)—to begin your gift planning journey:

  1. If you suddenly discovered you actually had the resources to do so, would you choose to advance The Hastings Center’s leading work in bioethics?
  2. Which of your resources or assets might you be able to use, and what practical steps would need to be taken?
  3. What are some of the available gift planning techniques—or “vehicles”—that will help you ensure the best possible charitable outcome?
  4. How can you shape that charitable outcome, not only for the good of the Center’s mission, but also for the well-being of yourself and your family?

What Is Gift Planning?

Gift planning goals, strategies, and outcomes can take countless forms, depending on the specific circumstances and interests of the person making the gift to The Hastings Center. Here is one illustrative example:

The Supporter’s Goals: Anticipating his 72nd birthday—and the associated need to begin taking a required minimum distribution (RMD) annually from his only retirement account (a 403b)—a supporter expressed an interest in using a portion of his retirement funds to continue making charitable contributions to The Hastings Center. People with Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are able to make tax-free qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) to non-profits and use them to partially or fully fulfill RMD obligations. However, there is no similar mechanism for tax-free charitable distributions directly from a 403b account such as most TIAA-CREF funds. In addition, our supporter expressed possible interest in designating The Hastings Center and other nonprofits, along with his children, as charitable beneficiaries on that 403b account. The longer the distributions can be “stretched out” over time, the more favorable the tax implications for the non-spousal individual heirs upon distribution.  However, designating one’s children and charitable organizations on the same account could complicate or limit the children’s ability to “stretch out” the distribution payments after a parent‘s death—even (for example) over the 10 years currently allowed under the SECURE Act.  

A Creative Planned Gift Strategy: To consider options for using retirement funds to achieve this set of philanthropic goals, Ryan invited Pete Congleton, a gift planning consultant with the Heaton Smith Group, to join the conversation. Pete proposed an elegant possible path forward. If the Hastings supporter would roll-over a fraction of his 403b plan into a newly created IRA account (also with TIAA-CREF, if desired), their annual RMD amounts associated with the 403b account would decrease proportionately.

Then, if the supporter wished, he could donate all or part of the annual RMD amounts associated with this new IRA account to qualified charities—including The Hastings Center—as QCDs during his lifetime. Further, with two retirement plan accounts now in place (the original 403b and the newly created IRA), the Hastings supporter could name his children separately from the charitable entities as the beneficiaries of the two respective retirement accounts, thereby preserving the children’s ability to stretch out final distribution payments if they wish.

Because the QCDs directed each year from the IRA would remain entirely voluntary and the beneficiary designations of either account could be changed by this supporter at any time prior to his death, this gift plan retains his ability to manage annual income from—and access to—his retirement principal, increases his charitable giving capacity, decreases his tax burden, and further safeguards his children’s inheritance.

Armed with this information, the supporter now has a viable gift planning concept he can discuss with his own financial advisors, as always recommended by The Hastings Center.

Notifying Hastings of such future gift intentions can unlock an immediate matching donation from a generous benefactor through our Legacy Gift Challenge.

Please contact Ryan Sauder (sauderr@thehastingscenter.org; 717-468-5835, cell)  to discuss your unique situation and consider possible gift planning opportunities with The Hastings Center.


Generous people like you have used various assets and giving vehicles to include The Hastings Center in their longer-term philanthropic planning and, by so doing, joined The Beneficence Society—our legacy gift society.

Below are just a few examples of the many possibilities:

  • Naming Us in Your Retirement Plan or Similar Assets

    While you may transfer many of your assets through your will or living trust, a document called a beneficiary designation controls distribution of your retirement plans, life insurance policies, commercial annuities, and a variety of financial accounts. 
  • Bequest Intentions via Will or Revocable (e.g., Living) Trust

    You may make a bequest or gift through your estate by including a provision in your will or living trust, or by naming Hastings Center as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy. The amount left to the Center (or any charity) can be expressed as a dollar amount or as a percentage of the assets to be given.
  • Retained Life Estates

    It is possible for you to donate your home, farm, or a second home to the Center and receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction, while retaining the right to live in your home for the rest of your life. If you itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction you could save significant income taxes. 
  • Bargain Sale

    By selling a valuable asset, such as real estate, to The Hastings Center for less than it is worth, it is possible for you to make a gift to Hastings Center and receive immediate cash.
  • Gifts that Pay You Income for your Lifetime

    There are ways you could make a gift that offers you an immediate charitable income tax deduction, a stream of reliable payments throughout your lifetime, and a remainder benefit for Hastings Center that could be included in your estate and gift planning.
  • Charitable Lead Trust

    There is a way you can make a substantial gift to Hastings Center in the form of fixed annual payments and pass assets to your family or other heirs at reduced tax cost. 

The Beneficence Society

The Beneficence Society—named after a foundational bioethical principle denoting the desire and intent to “do good”—comprises benefactors who are acting today to ensure the bioethical practices of tomorrow. By joining, you help to ensure that the values you are eager to secure and protect continue to inform the rapidly evolving fields of health, science, and technology—now and in the future.

Members of The Beneficence Society have told us that they have included The Hastings Center in their estate or retirement plans. Such “planned gifts” to The Hastings Center are easy to set up. They often can provide tax benefits as well.

The Beneficence Society allows us to recognize and celebrate today our benefactors’ intentions to support Hastings’ enduring mission through their gift and estate plans in the future.

Legacy Challenge

Right now, The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust is generously sponsoring a legacy challenge that will make new bequests to The Hastings Center even more impactful.

Gift intentions formalized after September 1, 2021, and accompanied by this simple downloadable Hastings Legacy Challenge Grant Response Form, will trigger an immediate contribution by the Trust to The Hastings Center’s annual fund: either 10% of the anticipated future value of the gift intention (up to $20,000 per bequest) or $1,000 if the anticipated future value is not known or shared.

Chief Advancement Officer Ryan Sauder is happy to answer questions and provide additional details about gift planning, the legacy challenge, and The Beneficence Society. Thank you for considering ways to further secure The Hastings Center’s long-term impact.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own attorney or tax advisor before committing to any of the gift planning ideas, suggestions, or techniques illustrated or described above.

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