Penn Medicine Office of Planned Giving

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What assets can I use to make a gift to Penn Medicine?

Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright gift of cash, securities, or other property (e.g., real estate and/or personal property).

Through your will or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, your gift can be designated to Penn Medicine in accordance with your wishes.

2. What sort of gift plans also pay a return to me?

You have the option of making a gift that pays a return to you, your spouse or other individuals. These gifts include a charitable gift annuity, a charitable remainder unitrust or an annuity trust.

3. What tax deduction will I receive for my gift?

Your tax benefits depend on several factors: the type of gift, the time at which it is made, whether it is outright or deferred, or whether it provides for any payments. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Outright gifts to Penn Medicine generate a full income-tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of long-term appreciated securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition of capital gains — a great tax benefit!

  • Gifts of personal property, such as art, books and collectibles, are fully deductible so long as they are relevant to our mission. We can advise you on this point. Contact us for more information.

  • Bequests do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction. They are exempt from estate tax.

  • Similarly, life insurance distributions to Penn Medicine are not income-tax deductible, but are exempt from estate tax. If you have made us the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of an existing policy during your lifetime, you may deduct the value of the policy.

  • The charitable deduction for a gift that pays a return to you, such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust, is the fair market value of the gift asset minus the present value of the interest you retain.

4. I want to set up a life insurance policy, name Penn Medicine as beneficiary, but retain ownership of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?

No. The I.R.S. would not consider this a “completed gift.” The I.R.S. would say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member. Penn Medicine must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.

5. I've heard that transferring gifts of retirement plan assets to charity is advantageous. Why?

Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k), 403(b) and Keoghs allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years. However, after a person's death, these accounts are often exposed to income and estate taxes at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or even higher on large taxable estates. The tax will be paid at some point — by your estate and your heirs unless contributed to charity. In other words, by giving retirement assets to charity you receive double benefits. Your estate and heirs will not be taxed on the portion that goes to charity and you will support Penn Medicine.

6. I'd like to donate a painting. Will you determine its value for my income tax deduction?

The I.R.S. requires that donors of artwork and collectibles secure an independent appraisal of the items to establish fair market value. The appraisal has to be related to the gift, too — an insurance appraisal won't suffice. We can assist you on this point.

7. I'm interested in establishing a charitable gift annuity. What financial provisions will you make for the annunity payments to me and my spouse?

Your charitable gift annuity will be treated as a general obligation of Penn Medicine, backed by all of our assets. We have an unbroken record in making timely payments to our annuitants, and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in our financial policies.

8. If I create a bequest or life-income gift, will you continue to ask me for annual contributions?

Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. However, today's efforts are supported through annual gifts and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual support you may want to consider.

For More Information

E-mail or call us at 215-898-9486, or complete the Request Information form. We will happily assist you through every step of the process.

Penn Medicine
Christine S. Ewan, J.D.
Executive Director, Planned Giving
3535 Market Street, Suite 750
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
215-898-9486 | Fax: 215-573-2186


Penn Planned Giving