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Tending the Garden of Our Faith: Charitable Gift Annuities
Gift of the Week: April 15, 2009
Who Gave It
Who Got It
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe (UUCSF), NM, and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
How It Happened
A beautifully branched apricot tree, heavy with fruit, grows in the courtyard of Pete Myers’ church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe, NM. For Pete, the tree is a reminder of what he treasures most about his congregation and other Unitarian Universalist communities—the strong and nurturing relationships that he has found there.
“We all cherish the symbol of the tree,” says Pete. “Most Sunday mornings you will find children perched in its branches, like they’re being held.
A UU since the 1950s, Pete Myers has helped Unitarian Universalism take root in his home state of New Mexico and has been an enthusiastic participant in UU gatherings around the country, including several General Assemblies. He believes that religious freedom must be carefully tended, and he wanted to find a way to preserve that freedom for future generations of UUs. He wanted to make a gift that also would help him meet some personal financial goals.
A UUA Charitable Gift Annuity was the answer.
“I chose the UUA Charitable Gift Annuity because the benefits were right for me,” says Pete. “I had sold my house to move to a retirement life-care community, where many members of my congregation also live, and the sale of my home created a significant capital gains tax. I wanted a way to offset this tax burden, and I also needed income.
“My gift annuity helped me accomplish both—I received an immediate income tax deduction for making the gift, and I secured a lifetime of payments at an attractive fixed rate. Now, every quarter the UUA sends me a check and I have the joy of knowing that, when I’m gone, my gift will be shared between my congregation and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Both are important to me.”
As one who cares deeply about the future of his church, Pete is in good company. Several members of the UUCSF have helped their church and themselves with UUA Charitable Gift Annuities and gifts to the UUA Pooled Income Fund. Others have included the congregation in their estate plans. Like the apricot tree, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe will prosper on the strength of these gifts for generations.
Gifts like this are possible thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Umbrella Giving Program which allows 100% of a gift to benefit any UU entities the donor chooses at no cost to the donor or final beneficiaries. For many congregations, Umbrella Giving enables them to offer a wider range of gift planning options without expending valuable staff resources and costs.
This story was originally published in the UUA Legacy Newsletter.