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Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable Gift Annuities

Give to LSA, and get reliable income for life.

You can help future Wolverines step through doors of opportunity while you or a loved one receives guaranteed, reliable income for life. After the lifetime of the beneficiary, the balance of the annuity is a gift to LSA. 

Perhaps you are looking for a stable, smart investment that will provide for you while also allowing you to support the University. Maybe you have loved ones to support, or you’re thinking about retirement income. Through a charitable gift annuity, you can give a gift of cash or stock, and in return you or your loved ones over age 50 will get an income backed, guaranteed, and fixed for life -- no matter what happens to the market or the economy. 

Based on your needs, we can provide a custom proposal that will outline a projected payment schedule and possible tax benefit information.

FAQ: How does a charitable gift annuity differ from a charitable remainder trust?

The payments are guaranteed and fixed with an annuity. The minimum gift requirement of $10,000 to set up a CGA is less than Michigan’s requirement for a charitable remainder trust. Establishing a CGA is a simple contract process that does not require a lawyer to review paperwork - though we always recommend talking with your financial advisor or lawyer since we cannot provide individual legal or tax advice.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Another way to give to LSA and get income back.You can help future Wolverines step through doors of opportunity while you or people you love receive income. A charitable remainder trust (CRT) provides income like a charitable gift annuity. What makes it different is that you have many options when establishing a CRT, including choosing the investment model so your trust can grow the way you want it to. 

What is the investment model for trusts, and can I really choose the Michigan Endowment? How do the payments work?

When you establish a CRT, you can choose between five different investment options based on what kind of growth you would like to see. Four options are run through Vanguard that range in risk, and the fifth can be invested in the same kind of investment pool as the University endowment. 

Trust payments, which must be at least 5%, will vary based on the current value of the assets in the trust - this is called a unitrust. It is also possible to choose an annuity trust, where your payments stay the same each year.

What should I think about when selecting beneficiaries?

It is possible to have the trust last for your lifetime or the lifetime of your loved ones, or you could set up a trust that lasts for a term of years (up to 20).

Who manages the trust?

Often, the University serves as the trustee and our central development office provides administrative oversight of the trust. U-M does not charge trustee or management fees. Other trustee options are also available. 

What is the minimum gift amount? Is it a one-time gift?

The minimum required gift to start a CRT is $100,000. You can make additional gifts to a unitrust, but not to an annuity trust. 

Contact us to get started. We’re here to help. 

Our team can help you as you open doors to new opportunities. While we can’t offer specific tax or legal advice on your personal situation, we can help you discuss your goals and options. Our team is ready to help you explore options that will have a lasting impact on the College. For more information, email Janel Alpert at