Our Blog - Live Generously

Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Christopher F. Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.

Audi Hilton Head Spotlights Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Everyday Matters: Every Day Matters


Receive Income Today; Support Charity Tomorrow
By Denise K. Spencer / August 3, 2015

When most people consider making a charitable gift, they believe that what they will receive in return are the positive feelings that come from helping others, along with, of course, a tax deduction. But there are giving opportunities that can offer the donor these benefits and even more. One of these is the Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA), and Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is pleased to provide donors this important option. 

What is a CGA? It is a simple contract between you and the Community Foundation. You make an irrevocable gift (cash, securities, real estate, etc.) of at least $5,000 and in exchange the Community Foundation agrees to give a fixed amount—to you and/or someone else, or to your beneficiary—each year for life. Using the percentages established by the American Council on Gift Annuities, based on your age, projected rates of investment return and life expectancy, the income payment amounts are determined. No longer do you need to worry about market fluctuations and their impact on your income; the income is a guaranteed amount. And you also receive a charitable tax deduction for a portion of the gift used to establish the CGA. Some of your gift annuity income may also be free of income tax.

At the end of the contract, any remaining dollars are added to a Community Foundation endowment fund you have stipulated—either an existing one or one to be started with the proceeds. If one of your favorite charities already has an endowment fund at the Community Foundation, this is a very easy way for you to provide support for the long-term. If not, you could possibly create a future endowment for your favorite charity, or even support the work of the Community Foundation itself.

Who might benefit from establishing a CGA? If you are a person of charitable intent, and are looking for a stable income stream for yourself or a loved one, this might be a good option for you, especially if you use low-yielding assets to fund the annuity—possibly increasing your current cash flow. And if the assets you donate are also long-term appreciated assets, you might also receive a capital gains tax advantage. And while we cannot establish a current CGA for someone younger than 60 years of age, we can establish a deferred annuity for those younger than 60 who may wish to take advantage of their higher-income producing years to pre-fund this opportunity.

Quick Recap. You can make a meaningful charitable gift, using assets that may not be working hard for you, to improve your cash flow, assure income for life, receive an income tax deduction on a portion of your gift, and eliminate the worries of stock market volatility.  The Community Foundation handles all the paperwork: we invest the assets, issue annuity payments as indicated in the contract, and send you annual statements for your taxes. And finally, at the end of your life, the proceeds of your gift, and all future earnings from it, will become an endowed source of community capital, doing your positive philanthropic work forever. Does this sound like something you might want to explore further?  

How do you get started? The Community Foundation’s staff would be honored to answer your questions, and to work with you and your professional advisors to help you determine if this is a good option for you. Simply contact Emmy Rooney, Vice President for Development and Donor Services, at 843-681-9100. If your lifestyle includes living generously, there is no reason that it cannot include being generous to yourself and your loved ones as well, and a Charitable Gift Annuity might be just the right idea at the right time.

Denise K. Spencer
President and CEO


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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

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