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Development Guide:
Gift Planning

Giving News

What Does the Gift Planning Team Do?
The Gift Planning Team helps prospective donors and their advisors plan and structure gifts to The University of Texas at Austin (UT) in ways that best meet each donor’s charitable, financial, and estate planning goals. During this planning process, we discuss the available options for how, when, and what the donor can give to UT. We also explain tax and other financial consequences of the gift options.

Example. A UT alumnus wants to make a $200,000 gift to UT to create an endowment to provide fellowships to graduate students. However, he does not feel that he is financially able to make the gift at the present time. A member of the Gift Planning Team would talk with the prospective donor, listen to his concerns, and explain various gift options, including gifts that pay income to the donor during his lifetime and gifts that the donor can amend or revoke during his lifetime.

The Gift Planning Team also provides general educational information on charitable, estate, and tax planning to prospective donors and UT staff who work with prospective donors.  Finally, we provide stewardship to donors who have informed UT of their planned gifts.

What Must the Gift Planning Team Not Do?
Any employee of UT, including a member of the Gift Planning Team, may not provide legal, tax, or financial advice to donors or prospects. Our job is to explain options, not tell the donor what he should do.  When working with a person to plan his gift, we always advise him to seek advice from his own attorney, accountant, or other professional advisor. The following is typical language that we include in communications to a donor:  The University of Texas at Austin does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice.  Consequently, we urge you to seek the advice of your own legal, tax, or financial professionals in connection with gift and planning matters.

What Gift Planning Options Are Available?
The types of gift options that we work with (which will be referred to as “planned gifts”) include, but are not limited to:

Gifts which are revocable during a donor’s lifetime:

  • Bequest;
  • Gift at death from a donor’s revocable living trust;
  • Designation of UT as beneficiary at death of a donor’s IRA or qualified retirement plan; and
  • Designation of UT as beneficiary at death of a donor’s life insurance policy.

Irrevocable gifts that pay income to the donor or his named beneficiary (UT does not actually receive the gifted property until the interest of the donor or his named beneficiary ends):

  • Charitable remainder trust (both unitrusts and annuity trusts); and
  • Charitable gift annuity (both immediate and deferred).

An irrevocable gift that pays income to UT for a number of years and then reverts to the donor or his named beneficiary:

  • Charitable lead trust (both annuity and unitrust)

An irrevocable gift of a home or farm that allows the donor to retain rights in the property during his lifetime.

  • What Are the Benefits of Gift Planning?

Gift Planning offers an opportunity to create a dialogue with the donor, i.e., a way of overcoming statements such as, “I’d love to give to UT, but….” and:

  • Provides for the future support of UT;
  • Increases the donor’s overall lifetime giving capacity;
  • Can provide substantial tax advantages for the donor;
  • Can increase the donor’s income now or later; and
  • Can “unlock” income from donor’s assets that currently produce little or no income.

Services of the Gift Planning Team

Education about Charitable Gift Planning and Estate Planning
Periodically educational sessions to UT development staff are offered and we welcome your suggestions for topics that would interest you. Currently we offer Introduction to Gift Planning in the spring and Advanced Gift Planning, a two-part series, in the fall. We also distribute monthly gift planning tips to all front-line development officers across campus.

We are always available to discuss gift planning issues with you individually.

We are available to talk to Advisory Councils and other groups about gift planning.

Assistance to Central Development Office and CSU Development Officers
Each college, school, and unit (CSU) is assigned its own liaison from the Gift Planning Team in order to provide you with reliable and consistent service. Of course, if your liaison is not available, you may call any member of the gift planning team.

We will consult with you and, if you wish, your prospective donor to discuss gift planning strategies.

We can prepare calculations that illustrate the tax and financial effects of gift planning options.

We can provide sample language for bequests; gifts from revocable trusts; designations naming UT as beneficiary of a retirement plan, life insurance policy, or bank or brokerage account; charitable remainder trusts; and charitable gift annuities.

We can work with the prospect’s legal and financial advisors.

For gifts of non-cash assets, we can help you and your donor comply with the gift acceptance policies of UT System.

Recording a Planned Gift in VIP
Under UT rules, only a member of the Gift Planning Team can enter a completed planned gift or revise a prior planned gift.  If you are working with an individual who decides to make a planned gift, we will be happy to enter it for you in VIP.

Maintenance of Original Documentation Files for Each Planned Giving Donor
The Gift Planning Team maintains a paper file for each donor who has made or informed us of an intention to make a planned gift.

Provide Stewardship to Planned Giving Donors through the Texas Leadership Society (TLS)
TLS is a University-wide recognition society to honor alumni and friends who have informed the University that they have created a planned gift to benefit UT.

All known donors of a planned gift, regardless of its amount, may be TLS members.

The first Presidential acknowledgment of a planned gift sent to a donor typically includes a TLS pin. However, other arrangements for delivery of the pin may be made by the primary manager, the President’s office, or the University Development Office.

TLS members are invited to the annual TLS luncheon in the spring and are added to the mailing list for Texas Leader, our gift planning newsletter.

Resources the Gift Planning Team Provides

“Gift Planning” Section on the Support UT Website
The Gift Planning section
has extensive information about estate and charitable gift planning that is very donor friendly. It also offers prospective donors the opportunity to run their own sample calculations for planned gifts such as charitable remainder trusts, if they wish. Feature articles change monthly.

Booklets about Estate and Gift Planning for Donors and Prospects
We provide literature to you for use in visits and as leave behinds with donors.

Texas Leader Newsletter
This newsletter is published twice a year and is mailed to 18,000 donors and emailed to more than 50,000 additional prospective donors, alumni and friends. It usually features one or more donors who have made a planned gift, and we welcome suggestions on donors to feature.

Gift Acceptance Policies Relating to Planned Gifts

These policies were created by the Board of Regents, and they govern planned gifts made for the benefit of The University of Texas at Austin.

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts and Annuity Trusts (CRUTs and CRATs)
UT System will act as trustee of a CRUT or CRAT if the following conditions are met:

  • UT must be the irrevocable beneficiary of at least 50% of the total funding of the trust;
  • The value of the initial funding of the trust must be at least $100,000 if the assets can’t be pooled for investment or $50,000 if the assets are cash or marketable securities and can be pooled for investment;
  • There must not be any potential for the CRUT or CRAT to have unrelated business taxable income; and
  • If the trust is to last for the lifetimes of individuals, there can be no more than two income beneficiaries and both of them must be at least 55 years of age. If the trust is to last for a term of years, these restrictions do not apply. For a term of years trust, the maximum term is 20 years.

If UT System acts as trustee, the recommended maximum payout rates are:

  • For straight CRUTs and CRATs:

5% for beneficiaries age 55 to 69
6% for beneficiaries age 70 to 79
7% for beneficiaries age 80 and above.

  • For NICRUTs and NIMCRUTs: 5%
  • For CRUTs and CRATs that last for a term of years: 7%

If the trust is funded with $50,000 – $99,999, then UT entities must be named as 100% irrevocable beneficiaries. If the trust is funded with $100,000+ then UT entities must be at least 50% beneficiary.

UT System Will Not Serve As:

  • Executor or administrator of an estate;
  • Guardian of a person;
  • Trustee of a trust where the trustee has discretion to invade principal; or
  • Trustee of a charitable lead trust.

Gifts of Real Estate
Must be reviewed and approved by UT System’s Real Estate Office and Office of General Counsel.

Guidelines for acceptance of gifts of real estate can be found at

Only UT System May Handle Matters Relating to an Estate that Benefits The University of Texas at Austin
If you receive a copy of a will or revocable living trust from a living donor that names UT as a beneficiary, send the original document to our office and keep a copy for your file.

If you learn of a donor’s death, you should forward that information, together with any documentation about an estate gift to our office and keep a copy for your files.

Gifts of Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds (including current, outright gifts)
Such gifts must be reviewed and processed by UT System’s Office of Development and Gift Planning Services.

For transfer instructions, contact Charlotte Hambrick, trust officer at UT System, at 512-499-4340.

Charitable Gift Annuity
The minimum amount to create a charitable gift annuity is $10,000 funded with cash or marketable securities.

There can be no more than two annuitants.

The annuitant(s) must be at least 55 years old (45 years old if it is a deferred annuity, but payments may not start until age 55).

The gift annuity is created with the UT Foundation.

Primary Contact

Amanda Brown Irving, Interim Executive Director of Development & Gift Planning
Phone: 512-475-9510

Jeff Glosser, Senior Director of Gift Planning
Phone: 512-475-9688

Updated Aug 2, 2016

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