What to Give2018-04-06T10:20:34+00:00


  • How to Direct Your Gift
  • Your Giving Options
  • Assets You Can Give
  • Select A Gift Plan That’s Right for You
  • Life Income Gifts — Gifts That Generate Income for You
  • Legal Designation

First of all, thank you for considering a donation. People give to Braille Institute for many reasons. The motivation to give may come from a personal experience with a Braille Institute service or the care and concern displayed by an individual staff member. A gift is often made because of a pure and simple desire to do good and to help others. We know that when you make a contribution, it is because you believe in what we do, and because you want to help make a difference in the lives of blind and visually impaired people.

But we’d also like to make sure you benefit from making a gift to us. How does this happen? You may be surprised to learn that some of the best gift plans can also improve your financial and tax situation.

We hope you will consider supporting Braille Institute in one of the ways summarized below.

How To Direct Your Gift

Unrestricted Gifts are among the most valuable to Braille Institute because they allow the Institute to allocate funds wherever the need is greatest and to take advantage of unique opportunities as they arise.

Designated Gifts allow you to restrict your gift to a specific program or service that you particularly care about.

Capital Gifts support needs such as construction of rooms or buildings and new equipment to ensure that Braille Institute functions efficiently and is comfortable for students and staff.

Gifts in Honor of a Loved One allow you to honor a special occasion, pay tribute to someone you care about or celebrate the memory of a loved one.

Your Giving Options

Outright Gifts (sometimes called current gifts) can be put to work immediately, providing funding for current programs and services, equipment or capital projects. An outright gift may be composed of almost any asset of value.

Pledged Donations can be made over a period of time, allowing you to give more generously than perhaps you originally thought possible.

Gifts through Your Workplace generally include Payroll Deduction, Matching Gift and Employee Directed Donation programs. Please ask your Human Resources Department how you can team up with your employer to support Braille Institute.

Planned Giving is a term commonly used to describe a wide variety of giving vehicles that allow you to give to charity during your lifetime and/or after your death, while meeting your current income needs and providing for your heirs. From a donor’s perspective, planned giving is attractive for many reasons. It may allow you to make a larger gift than you ever thought possible. Depending on how a planned gift is set up, it may also let you receive a stream of income for life, earn higher investment yield, or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes. Planned gifts can be either revocable or irrevocable. With a revocable gift – such as a bequest in your will or living trust – you can change your mind at any time. With an irrevocable gift you transfer an asset today and usually receive immediate income tax deductions or income, but the charity does not receive the actual benefit of your gift (asset) until later – often after your lifetime. Our Braille Institute Department of Philanthropy is available to help you create a donation strategy that is tailored to meet your unique financial and philanthropic needs, and to help you dream about your future and ours.

Assets You Can Give

Cash Gifts are the simplest and easiest gifts you can make. They can be made through credit/debit card transactions, outright cash, personal checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders made payable to Braille Institute. Make a donation now.

Gifts of Appreciated Securities, Stocks and Bonds can provide considerable tax advantages when transferred to Braille Institute before they are sold. If you wish to transfer stocks, securities, mutual funds, non-marketable stock, closely held stock, or bonds to Braille Institute, please contact our Departyment of Philanthropy.

Gifts of Real Estate such as a vacation home, commercial property, apartment building or even your own home is an excellent way to gain considerable tax advantages while providing for the future of Braille Institute. Gifts of real estate may be given during your lifetime or as a bequest.

Retained Life Estate. You can give Braille Institute your home or farm as a charitable gift and still continue to live there for the rest of your life. How? This creative gift plan transfers your house to Braille Institute but reserves a free lifetime tenancy to you. You will continue to be responsible for the house’s ongoing taxes, structural maintenance and upkeep. Also, we mutually agree upfront about what we will do if you no longer wish to live in the house after you have donated it to us, or if you become physically unable to continue living there. Your gift will provide you with a charitable income tax deduction, based on the fair market value of your house minus the present value of the life tenancy you have retained. At the end of the life estate, Braille Institute would sell the property and use the proceeds to benefit blind and visually impaired children and adults served by Braille Institute.

Gifts of Personal Property including rare books, works of art, valuable collectibles, automobiles and tangible items of demonstrable value—in some cases may enable you to make a significant gift to support Braille Institute with outstanding tax benefits to you. Likewise, gifts of intangible personal property, such as copyrights, patents, and mineral rights, can generate income to support Braille Institute programs and services for generations to come.

Gifts of Life Insurance are also frequently used as a donated asset. You can donate a paid-up policy or you can make us the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy for which you pay the premiums.

Select A Gift Plan That’s Right For You

Make a Bequest by Will or Living Trust
The most common form of planned gift to Braille Institute is a bequest contained in a person’s will or revocable (living) trust. One benefit of a charitable bequest is that it enables you to further the good work of an organization you support or volunteer with long after you are gone. Better yet, a charitable bequest can help you save estate taxes by providing your estate with a charitable deduction for the value of the gift. View our legal name, tax identification number and date of incorporation.

Designate Braille Institute as a Beneficiary of Your Retirement Plan
Family, friends and a charity like Braille Institute can all be named as a beneficiary of your IRA or other qualified retirement plan. But, because of the tax implications, naming your family or friends as the beneficiary on your retirement account may not be the most prudent way of distributing these funds. Most retirement plans are income tax-deferred, meaning you do not pay income tax on the funds at the time they are contributed to your plan or on the growth of the assets within the fund. However, when the funds are distributed, either to you during your lifetime or to your heirs after you pass, the deferred taxes become due. Your heirs must pay all taxes owing and this greatly dilutes the intent of your gift. However, charitable organizations, like Braille Institute, are tax-exempt and not liable for the unpaid taxes. Therefore, the full amount of your gift will be used to support our programs and services for blind and visually impaired people. View our legal name, tax identification number and date of incorporation.

Designate Braille Institute as a Beneficiary of Your Financial Accounts
Another way you can include Braille Institute in your estate plan is to designate us as a beneficiary of your bank or brokerage account or an asset, such as a certificate of deposit. All you need to do is complete a beneficiary designation form (often called a transfer-on-death or pay-on-death form) provided by the financial institution. View our legal name, tax identification number and date of incorporation.

Consider a Charitable Lead Trust
A Charitable Lead Trust can be used to transfer assets to a loved one with a significantly reduced tax liability. When you create a Charitable Lead Trust, the initial or “lead” interest is paid out to Braille Institute annually for either a predetermined number of years or for the duration of your life. Thereafter, the assets of the lead trust are either returned to you or passed on to your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones. If the assets are to be returned to you, you receive an income tax deduction when the trust is created. If the assets are passed on to heirs, applicable estate or gift taxes on the value of the gift are reduced or completely eliminated.

Life Income Gifts — Gifts That Generate Income For You

Life income gifts serve a dual purpose: They provide philanthropic support for Braille Institute while also providing both a charitable income tax deduction and an income stream to you and/or your loved ones. These gift vehicles can provide income benefits comparable to—or in some cases exceeding—those that might be earned in ordinary investments. Many donors establish life income gifts with assets that are producing a very small amount of income, such as cash or appreciated stocks that do not earn dividends. Braille Institute offers several basic types of life income gifts:

Charitable Gift Annuity
The Charitable Gift Annuity is one of the oldest forms of gifts that give a donor income in return for a contribution. The Charitable Gift Annuity, which only a charitable nonprofit organization can offer, is a simple contract. When you make a minimum donation of $10,000 to Braille Institute, we’ll pay you, and/or another individual, guaranteed, fixed rate of return for life, generally far-exceeding the rate earned with a bank CD. Our Charitable Gift Annuity contracts are governed by state laws, assuring that payments to “annuitants” are protected. When the annuity ends, Braille Institute receives the remainder to help those we serve.

Life Estate Gift Annuity
A Life Estate Gift Annuity is a gift arrangement that allows a donor to give a gift of his or her home to Braille Institute today while continuing to live in and enjoy it. Specifically, a donor retains a “life estate” in his or her personal residence or farm after making a gift of a “remainder interest” in that property to Braille Institute. In conjunction with this gift, the donor enters into a Charitable Gift Annuity agreement with Braille Institute, which provides the donor with a lifetime annuity. This gift arrangement is similar in concept to a commercial arrangement called the “reverse mortgage.” However, a Life Estate Gift Annuity can surpass the benefits of a reverse mortgage in many ways.

Charitable Remainder Trust
While there is no single way to achieve all of your personal and financial goals, there is one strategy that can meet many of your needs. It’s called a Charitable Remainder Trust. In the right circumstances, this plan can increase your income, reduce your taxes, unlock appreciated investments, rid you of investment worries and ultimately provide very important support. When you create a Charitable Remainder Trust, you irrevocably transfer money, securities or other assets to a trust that will then pay you an income for life or for a period of years. If you wish, the trust also can pay an income to another beneficiary of your choice. At the death of the surviving beneficiary, the remaining principal in the trust goes to Braille Institute.

Legal Designation

If you wish to name Braille Institute of America in your will or estate plan, we should be named as:

Braille Institute of America, Inc., a California Nonprofit Corporation with principal offices located at 741 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029-3594.

Tax Identification Number: 95-1641426
Date of Incorporation: September 20, 1961

The information discussed here is not intended as legal or tax advice. A prospective donor should seek the advice of a qualified estate and/or tax professional to determine the consequences of his or her gift.


For more information on the many types of planned gifts available, please visit our Planned Giving options

Or, please contact us with your questions or to set up a free, no obligation meeting with one of our planned giving professionals please contact.

Department of Philanthropy
Braille Institute of America, Inc.
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90029
Phone: 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553), Ext. 1256
FAX: (323) 663-1428
E-mail: plangift@brailleinstitute.org

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PST), Monday through Friday

Related Links

Charitable Gift Annuities
A Charitable Gift Annuity will pay you lifetime income in return for a donation to Braille Institute.

Planned Giving
Visit Braille Institute’s planned giving page and learn how a planned gift can help you make a gift that will provide the greatest financial benefit to you and to Braille Institute.