Planned & Estate Gifts

lupton quote

Plan today for the Oglethorpe of tomorrow

Make a Life. Make A Living. Make A Difference. It’s a powerful statement of what Oglethorpe people value.  Regardless of your attainments in making a life and living, you can make a lasting, meaningful difference for Oglethorpe through careful estate planning, and ensure your family’s well-being at the same time.

What difference would you like to make?  A scholarship?  An endowed chair?  Maybe a fund to support your favorite discipline?  There are many possibilities and many ways to achieve them.  Every situation is different; the key is to start the discussion today.

Let Oglethorpe University be a partner as you consider your financial and estate plans. Please contact John Carr, Director of Major and Planned Gifts, for more information at 404-364-8439 or jcarr1@oglethorpe.edu.


One of the simplest ways to support Oglethorpe is to make the University a beneficiary in your will by directing a specific sum or percentage of your estate.  Your attorney may want to contact us for recommendations on language and stipulations in the will document and for seeing your gifting goals are documented.

Full Legal Name and Federal Tax Identification Number

  • Full Legal Name- Oglethorpe University, Inc.
  • Federal Tax Identification Number- 58-0568698

Sample Bequest Language

For attorneys and planners, we suggest the following sample language for bequests:

Unrestricted Bequest

“I give and bequeath to Oglethorpe University, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, the sum of xxx dollars. This gift shall be used to further the educational mission of Oglethorpe University in such a manner as the Board of Trustees of the University may direct.”

You might choose to replace “the sum of xxx dollars” with one of the following:

“xx percent of my adjusted gross estate” “all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate” or “xx percent of my residuary estate”

Bequest Restricted for Endowment

If you are interested in endowing a chair, scholarship, or other named fund, please contact the Development staff for criteria including gift minimums.

“I give and bequeath to Oglethorpe University, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, the sum of xxx dollars to create an endowed fund to be named xxx, which shall be invested as the Board of Trustees of the University may deem best. Distributions from the endowed fund shall be made each year in accordance with the spending policies of the University and shall be used for scholarships (or faculty compensation, or the study of the sciences, or another broad priority) at Oglethorpe University. The fund, for purposes of investment, may be combined with other funds of Oglethorpe University, but the fund shall be separately accounted for.”

Again, you might choose to replace “the sum of xxx dollars” with one of the following:

“xx percent of my adjusted gross estate” “all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate” or “xx percent of my residuary estate”

Codicil to Last Will and Testament

If your estate planning documents are up to date, you can simply draft a short codicil or amendment to the existing documents, using this or similar language:

“I, Sharon Smith, hereby amend my Last Will and Testament, executed on the 10th day of November in the year 2015. I direct that all provisions of that Will remain in effect but in addition direct that Oglethorpe University, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, shall receive the sum of xxx dollars to be used to further the educational mission of the University in such a manner as the Board of Trustees of the University may direct.”

Savings Clause

We recommend that restriction on gifts be stated in broad and flexible terms, since the University’s specific needs may change over time. If your bequest is restricted for a particular purpose, we ask that you incorporate a “savings clause,” which might read as follows:

“If at the time this bequest is received by Oglethorpe University, Inc., or any time thereafter, the Board of Trustees of the University determine that all or any part of the bequest can no longer be utilized to best advantage for the institutional purpose designated herein, then all or any part of the bequest may be used for such other institutional purpose which, in the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees, shall most closely carry out my intention.”

If you have retirement plans, IRAs, or life insurance policies, it is simple to make Oglethorpe a beneficiary of those plans at your passing. Please contact us for information about ensuring your desires for the gift are documented.

While it may not seem possible, you can make a gift to Oglethorpe University and receive significant benefits in return through life income gifts. Oglethorpe offers three types of life income gifts, which can compensate you for a set period of time while benefiting the university.  The term can be measured by your lifetime, a spouse or other person’s lifetime, or a term of years:

Charitable Remainder Trusts

For some, Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) can be a great means to increase income from modestly performing assets, care for your heirs, reduce potential estate taxes, and/or defer capital gains taxes. It’s also possible to create an immediate income tax deduction for you, while benefiting Oglethorpe.

CRTs come in two basic types:  unitrust and annuity.  The benefit to you varies with each.

How it works:  You place assets (stocks, real estate, etc.) in a CRT and receive income from the trust for life or a specified term of years, often at a higher rate than the asset is currently returning, effectively increasing your income.  (The assets may be subject to gift taxes if the beneficiary is someone other than you or your spouse.)  In addition, you receive an income tax deduction for the projected amount Oglethorpe will receive at the end of the trust’s term.

Example:  You have 1000 shares of a publicly traded stock, with a current fair market value of $100,000.  You purchased the stock 20 years ago for $10,000.  The stock’s current dividend pays you 3% or $3,000 annually.  By placing the stock in a CRT, you could increase your return to 7% or more and receive $7,000 or more annually.  If you were to sell the stock, you would be subject to capital gains taxes on your gain in value and the proceeds remain part of the valuation of your estate at the time of your death.  As well, depending on your age and the length of the trust’s duration, you may generate a substantial income tax deduction.

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) are also helpful planning tools to reduce taxable income, avoid capital gains taxes, care for heirs, create immediate income tax deductions, and benefit Oglethorpe. In the case of a CLT, you place assets in the trust for a specified term of years and Oglethorpe receives income from the trust for that term.   At the end of the term, the assets are returned to you or your heirs at an adjusted basis, allowing capital gains and estate taxes to be partially or fully avoided.

Example:  You place assets with a current value of $100,000 in a CLT for a 20 year term and plan to transfer those assets to one of your children at the end of the term.  According to the trust agreement, Oglethorpe will receive $5,000 annually from the trust.  Since those assets are no longer producing income for you, you reduce your current income tax liability.  Current treasury tables assume that the remainder value of the trust will be $19,799, while assuming a 6% annual return on the investment, the trust could potentially be worth $136,785 at the end of the term.  The difference in the value of the trust at the end of the term and the estimated Treasury remainder value passes to your child free of transfer taxes.  Potentially, with transfer and estate tax exemptions, the entire amount may be free of those taxes.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA) create the potential for increased income, capital gains avoidance, estate tax reduction, and income tax deductions.  With a CGA, you enter into a contract with Oglethorpe to transfers assets to the University and to receive periodic payments from Oglethorpe at a rate established by the American Council on Gift Annuities based on your age.  A part of the annuity payment is considered return of the donor’s gift and is not taxable as income under federal tax laws. The anticipated residuum of the principal is considered as a gift to Oglethorpe University and can be used as a charitable income tax deduction.

Trusts and annuities are complex legal transactions, subject to state and federal laws.  There are many variables that influence the amount of tax deductions and income rates. If you are interested in establishing a CGA, we encourage you to contact your personal tax advisors for assistance.  Under the right set of circumstances, CGAs are a powerful planning tool that benefit you, your heirs, and Oglethorpe.

Under certain circumstances, the University will accept gifts of real estate and make provision for you to retain use of the property for your lifetime.  Farms, vacation properties, even your home can make mutually beneficial gifts to the university, generate a significant tax deduction, while allowing you to have use of the property for your lifetime. (Donors are responsible for costs relating to maintenance, taxes, etc. during their lifetime.)

Bargain sales are part sale, part gift. For certain types of assets, Oglethorpe may purchase the property at a significantly reduced (bargain) price, allowing you to take a tax deduction on the fair market value above the sale price.  Many considerations must be taken into account as to whether Oglethorpe can enter into a bargain sale.

For more information about planned giving, please contact John Carr, Director of Major and Planned Gifts, at 404-364-8439 or jcarr1@oglethorpe.edu.