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Gift Planning

A Lifetime of Good Decisions


Beth and J. Brooke Gardiner

For J. Brooke Gardiner '51, the road to Haverford was as simple as crossing the street. As his graduation from the Haverford School approached, someone there suggested he consider applying to Haverford College, so he did. "Back then you didn't think about it much. But I was local and I could get on my bicycle and get there." This lightly-made decision turned into an educational experience Gardiner highly values and fondly remembers.

"I enjoyed all my classes," he says. "I liked the fact that it was a broad education rather than just a narrow one." He took classes in chemistry (his major) as well as Shakespeare, art history and, at Bryn Mawr College, geology. He also found time to run on the track team despite being "too darn busy with labs and classes and reading." Gardiner even had the opportunity as a student to teach for a semester when the College's glass blowing instructor took a medical leave of absence.

When he was younger, Gardiner had taught himself to make glass sculptures and figurines in the basement of his parents' house using a torch and small air compressor from Sears Roebuck. His father collected small glass animals and one day Gardiner decided to make some for him—a decision that resulted in a lifelong passion for the craft of glass sculpture and, years later, stone sculpture as well.

He found that his glass blowing skills also had practical applications. As a graduate student in chemistry at the University of North Carolina, he made his own lab equipment. UNC was also the place where Gardiner met his wife, Beth. "I started making small art objects to convince her that I was a decent guy," he recalls. That turned out to be another fortuitous decision, as he and Beth married and started a family.

After graduate school the couple settled in New Jersey when Gardiner accepted a position at Exxon (now Exxon Mobil). He learned that the company would match charitable gifts to colleges on a 3:1 basis and has been making regular gifts to Haverford's Annual Fund ever since. His loyal support has earned him membership in the College's 1833 Society.

Taking His Giving to the Next Level
In 1985, Gardiner's mother passed away, leaving him a number of highly appreciated stocks. "I was doing fairly well at Exxon," he says, "so I didn't really feel I needed the money at the time." Gardiner then had to decide what to do with it: sell the stock and pay a sizeable capital gains tax or hold the shares. He decided to hold on, and a short time later he attended a planned giving workshop at Haverford where he learned about the ease and benefits of a charitable gift annuity.

All Gardiner had to do was make a gift to Haverford and, in return, he and Beth would receive fixed lifetime payments at a rate based on their ages. The remainder would be transferred to the College. "The idea of giving something to Haverford and benefitting them, as well as the idea of an annuity that would give back to us seemed like a great idea," he says.

In addition to eliminating capital gains, there was a second tax benefit. "It gave me an instant income tax deduction in the year I gave it. So it was a confluence of all those things together that made it so appealing. It was a good thing to do." And so the decision was made. Since then, Gardiner has made additional gifts to increase the payments he and Beth receive as well as the remainder that will go to Haverford.

Today, Gardiner returns to campus periodically. Most recently, he attended his 60th reunion. When asked if he would recommend a charitable gift annuity to a classmate, he replied, "Well, I had a lot of things that made it good for me. So I'd try to see what kind of things they had that would make it make sense for them, such as low cost basis stock or a need for continuing income or a getting tax deduction right off the bat. And there are other plans Haverford has that would be equally attractive, such as giving through a bequest. I was always impressed by astronomy professor Louis Green who left $5 million to Haverford in his will." He continued, "But for me it's really about giving back. I got a lot from Haverford in a lot of ways, and I'm only too happy to give back. It's an easy decision."

Is a charitable gift annuity right for you?
Contact Olga Briker, Ph.D. at 610-795-6079 or if you are interested in taking your support to the next level.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Haverford College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Haverford College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Haverford or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Haverford as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Haverford as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Haverford where you agree to make a gift to Haverford and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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