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Gift Planning

Smart Giving: Charitable Gift Annuities Also Benefit Donors

Mary and Paul Bennett

Mary Bennett and her late husband, Paul.

Mary Bennett has a unique connection to Children's Mercy. Her late husband, Paul, was treated as an infant by hospital founders Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson and Dr. Alice Berry Graham in 1925.

Mary is giving back by making Children's Mercy a beneficiary in her will as well as through establishing a charitable gift annuity, which makes regular, partially tax-free payments to her throughout her lifetime.

Learn how this charitable gift annuity works and how Children's Mercy came to be...

Why a charitable gift annuity?

Mary was eager to create a gift annuity to supplement her retirement income while also helping the children and families served by Children's Mercy. A charitable gift annuity is easy to create.

With a minimum gift of $10,000 and a signature on a simple one-page agreement, the Children's Mercy Hospital Foundation will provide a dependable income for the donor's lifetime. The donor may also qualify for an income tax charitable deduction when they itemize, and part of the payments received are tax free. Upon the donor's death, the balance of the annuity is used to support the mission of the hospital.

Essentially, donors giving through charitable gift annuities are making their assets work for them and Children's Mercy at the same time. Using appreciated stock to establish this type of gift annuity is particularly smart, as it can help you avoid capital gains taxes.

"I don't like to owe a debt," Mary says. "By giving to the hospital, I'm helping to make sure some families don't have to owe a debt. And, if I get a little something in return, all the better!"

Learn more about Charitable Gift Annuities at Children's Mercy.

Mothers of Mercy

The history of Children's Mercy is truly remarkable. It all started in 1897 when Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson and Dr. Alice Berry Graham rented a bed and supplies at a maternity hospital in downtown Kansas City to save a young girl's life after her mother could no longer afford to care for her.

Hospitals would not hire female physicians at the time, so they ended up starting their own practice funded by private donors. The sisters broke through gender barriers and racial barriers in the once segregated city. They purchased the maternity hospital when it went bankrupt in 1899. The pair treated all children—regardless of their family's ability to pay—and Children's Mercy was born. The hospital continues to provide care for all children who walk through our doors.

"My heart goes out to all the families at Children's Mercy," Mary says. "I want to help them because we've been in their shoes. In addition to my husband receiving excellent medical care as a child by the founders themselves, we also have a great-niece who had surgery for three holes in her heart. It was a complete success. Treatment here is remarkable. It always has been. I'm happy to support the hospital and hope others do, too."

To learn more about the ways you can help the families at Children's Mercy, contact Phil Watson at or (816) 701-4339.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Children's Mercy 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 Children's Mercy, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Kansas City, MO, 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 Children's Mercy 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 Children's Mercy 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 Children's Mercy 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 Children's Mercy where you agree to make a gift to Children's Mercy 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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