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Real estate donations: making the complex simple

August 2023

It’s one thing for your clients to consider donating real estate to charity. And it’s another thing to make it happen.

The fact that most charities aren’t equipped to accept real estate and other noncash donations is just one reason they’re complicated. If you have clients with complex assets, you don't have to go it alone. Thrivent Charitable can be an extension of your practice and offer the expertise to help your clients carry out their charitable goals. We recently collaborated with a retired couple in the Midwest who were ready to sell rental property in Florida. While the rental income was helpful during retirement, they were growing tired of being out-of-state property managers.

The couple wanted to sell, but they knew rising property values would mean significant capital gains taxes on the sale. And when they offered the property to a technical college to establish scholarships, the school could not accept the gift.

This is where the expertise of Thrivent Charitable comes in and why the couple’s financial advisor connected them to us. Our gift planners met with the prospective donors to explain their charitable options. In this case, the donors preferred to continue receiving income after donating the property. Using their ages and current property value, gift planners could illustrate estimated lifetime income from a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT).

“The illustration we run paints a picture of what the gift can look like for the donor, including their projected income and tax deduction, and the potential remainder that will be left to charity,” Senior Gift Planner Ben Boline said. “The income they receive will likely be greater than the rent they were collecting.”

Gift planners manage relationships with local title companies, legal and real estate professionals and stay in contact with donors’ financial advisor throughout the process.

Of working with Thrivent Charitable, the donor said, “It gave us a sense of trust that this was the right thing to do, and they knew how to accomplish it for us.”

When both donors pass away, the remaining funds will go into a donor-advised fund from which scholarships will be awarded at the technical college they dreamed of supporting.

While cash donations are the most common way for your clients to support the immediate need of organizations, there are several ways to increase the impact of their gifts. Thrivent Charitable accepts a wide range of noncash asset donations, including:

  • Real estate. 
  • Farmland/crops/livestock/equipment. 
  • Life insurance. 
  • Cryptocurrency. 
  • Publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. 
  • Privately held stock/family businesses. 
  • Personal property and collectibles. 

New this year, we have partnered with a secure, third-party cryptocurrency platform, called Engiven, to allow donors to give nearly 100 cryptocurrencies at the time and date they choose.

Visit our website to find resources about donations of noncash assets and view our on-demand webinar on the topic.

Contact our team of gift planners to discuss unique solutions for your clients. Email us or call 800-365-4172 to get started.