Make a Gift
Keeping Florida's hiking trails open for public use takes both a massive effort by our volunteers and serious expenditures for building boardwalks, bridges, and trailheads, keeping signage intact, for mowers - our main tool in clearing the rapid growth of vegetation - and much more. Our vision of fully protecting the statewide Florida Trail as a public corridor requires the purchase of land.
Our fundraising programs include the following:
Charitable Gift Annuities
The Benefits of Giving
As you may know, the Florida Trail Association is funded, in part, by a federal grant, but relies significantly on charitable gifts from its family of members, to cover the additional costs for which grant funds are restricted. In this article, we’ll talk about the many ways you can support the Mission and hard work of FTA, which has been building, preserving and protecting the Florida Trail for over 43 years.
As you may know, there are many forms of charitable gifts that can benefit the Florida Trail Association. These include, but certainly are not limited to Cash, Appreciated Property, Marketable Securities, Wills, Trusts, Payroll Deduction, Retirement Plans, Life Insurance, Annuities, Endowments and Memorial Gifts.
Cash is perhaps the most favored form of charitable gift, and provides you with a tax savings of up to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Any amount not deductible in the year the gift was made can be carried over to as many as five tax years. The gift you make today may actually be a savings to you in future years. To donate click here.
When you give Appreciated Property that you have owned for one year or longer, you are entitled to an income tax deduction for the full value of the asset, not just on the amount you paid for it. Any capital gains tax that would have otherwise been due on the sale of the property is avoided, and you are, in effect, allowed to use the paper profit from your investment to reduce the amount of income tax you would have otherwise owed.
If you have sold Marketable Securities or other investments to take advantage of any increased values realized during the recent years, 2009 is an excellent time to consider increasing your charitable giving. As such gifts may serve to reduce any capital gains taxes that may be due, your realized savings could be substantial. A form to transfer stocks or bonds to the Florida Trail Association is available here.
It is an often mistake to think that you will save money by not having a Will. In fact, it is often more costly to rely on the plans of the state. Since the state may not be able to determine who your heirs might be, or which charity you wish to name as a beneficiary, much time and expense may be required to satisfy this process. The result could be much less of a residual of your assets to your surviving relatives, and any time delay of the transfer of your assets made by the state could impact your loved ones, and any charitable intent you may have had.
Trusts can be established in many forms. Most favored are Revocable Living Trusts, in which you retain control over your trust during your lifetime, and can change your beneficiaries at any time, including your charitable intent. Other forms of trusts commonly used are the Charitable Remainder Trust – which provides for you to make a gift today and retain fixed or variable income for the remainder of your life; and, Charitable Lead Trust – which provides for one or more charities to enjoy a fixed or variable level of gift for a specified period, during your lifetime, with residual assets returning to your estate for distribution upon death.
One of the most commonly overlooked opportunities to provide a charitable gift is through Payroll Deduction. If the company you work for already has a program in place, many times your employer will match your level of giving. This not only provides you with a tax savings opportunity, it also provides your charitable interest with a greater level of gift. If you do not have a payroll deduction where you work, call the Florida Trail Association and ask for a payroll deduction form or download one here. Fill it out and hand it into your human resources department. And remember, it is your right to withdraw from your payroll deduction program at any time.
If you are planning to leave assets to charity after death, a tax-deferred Retirement Plan can be an excellent path to use. By using this option of giving, the charity will pay no taxes when it receives your gift, your retirement account will not be included in your taxable estate when you die, and the amount your family may have to pay in estate taxes will be reduced. Gifts from your retirement plan can be a convenient way to make charitable gifts while saving both estate and income taxes for your heirs.
Giving through Life Insurance can allow you to make a gift of assets you no longer need to assure the economic security of your spouse or other loved ones. If you will owe less in estate taxes or have policies that have outlived their original purpose, their accumulated cash value can immediately fund a charitable gift. Naming your charity of choice as a beneficiary of your insurance policy, for partial or full amount of the policy’s proceeds at death, may also yield a tax savings benefit for your estate. As an additional component of your plans, you may want to use the tax savings from your charitable gifts to purchase a new life insurance policy designed to replace the assets you have devoted to charitable use.
A Charitable Gift Annuity is an excellent way for you to avoid a shrinking income, and at the same time may help you avoid possible tax liabilities. It is a legal contract between you and the Florida Trail Association, Inc., who, in return for your irrevocable gift, binds itself to pay you a specified sum every year, for as long as you live. And, based on the size of your gift and other factors, your annual life income can be substantial. Backed by the sound financial resources and business management of the Florida Trail Association, Inc., which has stood trusted in the preservation of one of Florida’s most precious treasures for 43 years, you can rest assured that your Charitable Gift Annuities are safe.
All of the options presented can include an enduring tribute to a family member or other loved one, and there may be no better way to pay lasting tribute to someone than through Memorial Gifts. Through the Florida Trail Association, such gifts can be made in unlimited form for capital projects, educational programs, land acquisition, trail maintenance or for the general discretionary use of the Association. Memorial Gifts are also an excellent way to perpetually memorialize someone you love as a contribution to the Association’s Permanent Endowment Fund, through which the principal gift is protected for perpetuity with only the interest earned used for ongoing financial support.
As you can see, there are many ways you can make a meaningful charitable contribution, especially by carefully planning the timing of your gift and the choice of assets you use. If you would like more information regarding how to develop your charitable gift plan, including the different options that may be of the most benefit to you, or, how to include the Florida Trail Association, Inc. in the charitable portion of your estate plan, please give me a call. I would be honored to have the opportunity to assist you.