Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit us after your lifetime, you can find a charitable plan that lets you provide for your family and support Siena College.
Major Gift FAQ
WHAT IS AN ENDOWMENT AND WHAT IS AN ENDOWED FUND?
An endowment is simply an investment in the future. When charitable gifts are used to establish an endowment, the gift is invested with two goals in consideration: making the principal grow faster than inflation and providing expendable income for the donor's specified purpose. The principal remains untouched, and any income earned above the annual spending amount is reinvested into the fund to keep it healthy and growing.
HOW MUCH OF THE ENDOWMENT DOES SIENA COLLEGE SPEND?
To determine an endowment fund’s distribution, the Board of Trustees multiplies the annual payout percentage by the fund’s average fair-market value over a 3-year period. As of December 17, 2009, the payout rate is 5 percent. By restricting the use to 5 percent, the principal can be expected to grow over time.
HOW DOES MARKET VOLATILITY AFFECT SIENA’S ENDOWMENT PAYOUT?
Siena College invests for the long term and protects the budget from year-to-year volatility in the financial markets. It does so in at least a couple of ways. First, the college’s investments are diversified to minimize risk. Second, Siena applies a formula to the endowment payout, which factors in the prior three years' actual performance.
WHAT INVESTMENT IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH AN ENDOWED FUND OR AN ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP?
The amount required to establish an endowed fund or scholarship varies depending on the fund’s purpose.
To inquire about establishing an endowed fund or scholarship contact
Siena College Development Office
St. Francis House
515 Loudon Road
Loudonville, NY 12211
Gift Planning FAQs
WHAT ARE PLANNED GIFTS?
Many Siena College alumni, friends and donors choose to support the college’s work through planned gifts, which include gifts of marketable securities like stocks and bonds; estate gifts through a bequest in a will or trust; gifts like charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts that provide a lifetime income stream to the donor; and other gifts of real estate or tax-deferred retirement assets.
Planned gifts provide financial flexibility and various tax benefits. Planned gifts also provide an effective means of financial stewardship, redirecting money to needs that would otherwise become lost to estate, capital gains or income taxes. Because a planned gift requires careful consideration of a donor's personal, financial and charitable goals and desires, we encourage you to consult with your financial, tax or legal adviser.
By making your planned gift at Siena College, you'll become a member of the prestigious St. Francis Society, which recognizes those individuals who have included the college in their long-term financial and estate planning.
WHAT IS THE ST. FRANCIS SOCIETY?
The St. Francis Society is a community of “Siena Saints” faithful who share the original dreams and vision of our founding Friars to create a perpetual learning community. The St. Francis Society consists of alumni, friends, faculty and staff who support the vision for Siena by including the college in their long-term financial and estate plans. Members of the St. Francis Society belong to a select group of individuals who have chosen to extend their legacies while furthering the work of Siena College.
CAN I LEAVE A CHARITABLE GIFT TO SIENA IN MY WILL?
A will is one of the easiest and most common forms of planned giving. As a legal document that specifies one's wishes concerning one's estate at death, a will provides detailed instructions for disposing of assets accumulated over a lifetime.
The will is one of the most popular means of making significant planned gifts to a beloved charity or cause. Many friends and alumni of Siena College have chosen to name the college as the recipient of a specific amount or percentage of their estates.
HOW CAN I ESTABLISH A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY?
The charitable gift annuity has become an increasingly popular way of providing predictable income in the later years while avoiding the volatility of the financial markets. A charitable gift annuity is a contract between the donor and Siena College whereby the college guarantees to pay the donor, the donor and their spouse, or another beneficiary, an annual set sum for life. The payments remain the same over the lifetimes of the income beneficiaries, and often a portion of the income received is tax exempt.
A charitable gift annuity is especially attractive if a donor holds highly appreciated assets, like real estate or securities, which can be given directly to Siena College in exchange for an annuity. Donors also receive a tax deduction in the year the gift is made for the portion of the gift that might be expected to ultimately benefit the university.
The minimum gift to establish a charitable annuity at Siena College is $10,000.
WHAT ARE CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUSTS?
A charitable remainder trust gift is an irrevocable gift that can provide significant future support to Siena College while potentially increasing the income of the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Beneficiary payments are either made throughout a beneficiary's lifetime or for a specific term of years (20 is the maximum allowed by law). The donor directs how the named charity will use the ultimate proceeds. There are two types of charitable remainder trust gifts: a charitable remainder unitrust or a charitable remainder annuity trust.
If your goal is to provide yourself, your spouse or other beneficiaries with an income stream that provides a hedge against inflation, you should consider a charitable remainder unitrust. The unitrust allows you to add to the trust principal at any time and pays annual income based on a fixed percentage (at least 5 percent) of the market value of the trust assets. As the value of the trust increases, you share in that appreciation by receiving a larger income distribution. By avoiding capital gains tax on the trust transfer, the entire value of the gift can be reinvested to benefit the named life beneficiary. The trust assets will not be taxable in the donor's estate as long as the beneficiaries are limited to the donor and/or their spouse.
If you would prefer to receive constant payments from your life income gift, you might consider a charitable remainder annuity trust. Like a charitable remainder unitrust, the annuity trust provides the donor with capital gains tax avoidance, immediate income tax deduction and the ability to designate how the funds will ultimately be used by the college. However, unlike the unitrust, the payment from an annuity trust is based on a percentage of the market value of the trust assets at the time it is funded, and the payment amount never changes. Additional contributions to an annuity trust are not permissible, and upon death, the principal is distributed to the college.
WHAT ARE MY CHARITABLE GIFT OPTIONS WITH QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS?
People often reach retirement age with significant wealth accumulation in retirement plan accounts. Unfortunately, assets in these types of plans are included in the owner's taxable estate at death and can be subject to as much as 70 percent in combined estate and income taxes.
Rather than see such a large percentage of your remaining retirement assets eaten up by taxes, you might consider directing a portion or all of your retirement assets to be used to make charitable gifts. While the value of these accounts is still included in your taxable estate, your estate will receive a full charitable deduction for all gifts designated to charity. A more satisfying strategy may be to name Siena College as the beneficiary of your retirement account and leave other assets to heirs. The college will owe no taxes on the account and will be afforded the full amount of the gift.
WHAT IS A RETAINED LIFE ESTATE?
A "retained life estate" is an arrangement by which the owner of a residence, vacation home or other property donates the real estate to a favorite cause while simultaneously residing in and maintaining control of the property. Such gifts allow significant income tax deductions in the year the gift is completed. Upon the death of the donor, the college takes possession of the real estate and liquidates it, using the assets to continue its educational mission.