Planned Giving

These gifts allow the donor to receive important tax benefits today and provide for Johnson C. Smith University to receive a significant gift in the future. Scroll down learn about some of the ways that you can support the university with deferred (planned) giving.

For more information about making a planned gift to the university, contact Calvin Banks, Major Gifts Officer & Grants Research Manager, at 704.378.1259 or

Life insurance
Couple signing documents
Life Insurance

Life insurance policies allow donors to make significant gifts to JCSU. By donating an existing policy that is no longer needed for its original purpose, or by purchasing a new policy for the purpose of making a charitable gift, the donor receives some important tax benefits, and the University receives a future gift. The policy may name JCSU either as beneficiary or as owner of the policy. Gifting an existing life insurance policy may yield significant tax benefits.

To donate a current life insurance policy, ask your insurance company for the forms that will change the beneficiary and ownership to JCSU. Then send us the policy and a letter indicating your intentions.

It is also possible to purchase a new life insurance policy naming Johnson C. Smith University as beneficiary and owner. This allows for your future premium payments (made as gifts to JCSU) to be tax deductible. To donate a new life insurance policy, consult Johnson C. Smith University and your insurance agent.

Retirement Funds
Retired couple looking at computer
Retirement Funds

Making gifts from your retirement may offer significant financial benefits. Many retirement assets accumulate on a tax-free basis, and after retirement, when you begin drawing your income, you will have to pay income taxes on any disbursements.

In addition, if retirement funds remain in your estate, they are subject to significant reduction by estate and inheritance taxes. These taxes, especially on large retirement funds, could reduce your retirement assets by as much as 80%.

By making JCSU a beneficiary of all or part of your retirement funds, your deferred gift will not be reduced by income or estate taxes. Such gifts are ideal ways to maximize the impact of your retirement funds and make a significant charitable gift.



A bequest is the most popular way to provide more significant assistance to JCSU. Because a bequest is a gift made through your will, you retain full use of your gift property during your lifetime. There are several types of bequests, depending on your inheritance intentions, but all may offer significant estate and inheritance tax benefits.

Listed below are several common forms of charitable bequests that will likely fit most individuals’ needs. Potential donors should consult their own attorney when redrafting a will document to ensure that it is appropriate for their personal needs.

General bequest

The most familiar type of bequest is the general bequest, which specifies that JCSU will receive a designated sum.

Note: To provide a restricted bequest or a bequest that specifies use of income only, see below.

Specific bequest

When making a specific bequest, a donor is directing that one particular piece of property be transferred to JCSU. This may include a piece of real estate, the stock from one specific company or some other specific asset. This type of bequest is ideal for individuals wishing to give particular stocks or real estate or a valuable art object.

Please be aware: A specific bequest can be satisfied only with the specific property designated in the will. If that property has been sold or otherwise removed from the estate, JCSU receives nothing in its place.

Percentage bequest

This is an excellent alternative to the general bequest. The percentage bequest states that a donor provides JCSU a predetermined percentage of his or her estate. By making a percentage bequest of 10%, 25% or 50% of their estate, donors assure themselves that inflation will not reduce the true value of their bequest intended for JCSU.

Residuary bequest

This bequest directs that JCSU receive either everything remaining in a donor’s estate or a designated percentage of a donor’s remaining estate after all necessary costs, all general bequests and all specific bequests are satisfied.

This type of bequest allows donors the flexibility of making several primary bequests while still giving them the assurance that JCSU will be a secondary beneficiary of their estate. The residuary bequest has the drawback of uncertainty. JCSU receives only as much or as little as is left after all primary obligations are satisfied.

Bequests That Create an Endowment

Many individuals, particularly those providing a larger bequest, are interested in creating an endowment fund, whereby only the income generated by the gift is used by the University.

The codicil

It isn’t difficult for donors to add a bequest to JCSU in their will. A simple codicil (or an addendum to a will), drafted by an attorney, is all that is typically necessary. A donor’s will doesn’t have to be revised to accomplish this.

Contingent bequest

This type of bequest is contingent on some event. For example, a donor might make a primary bequest for a relative, with the contingency that if that relative is not living at the time the will is probated, the bequest will pass on to JCSU.

The contingent bequest is often used in the case of a husband or wife who stipulates that if his or her spouse is not living when the will is probated, then the bequest specified for the spouse will pass to a contingent charitable beneficiary.

Testamentary trusts

Both a unitrust and an annuity trust can be set up in a donor’s will to take effect only after the donor's death. This type of arrangement in a will is called either a testamentary annuity trust or a testamentary unitrust. A trust of this type provides a donor with the opportunity to control certain property that might be mismanaged if left outright to the beneficiary. Furthermore, the trust can yield significant estate tax savings for the donor’s estate.

Life income gifts

These gifts provide donors or their beneficiaries with income for a lifetime or for a period of years. At the same time, these gifts produce important tax benefits and positively impact the future of the University.

Gift annuity

An annuity is a tax-sheltered investment, intended to provide you with a steady stream of income over a number of years (called annuity payments). Payments can start immediately or in the future. A charitable gift annuity will pay you and a survivor, if desired, a fixed dollar amount when you make an irrevocable gift to support a charitable organization. The payment amount is determined by your age at the time of your contribution.