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The Great Southwest Council's Development Department will work closely and confidentially with you and your financial advisers to ensure that your gift achieves your individual goals and expresses your personal vision for the Boy Scouts of America.

  • Introduction to Planned Giving 
  • Income-Producing Gift Plans 
  • Other Planned Giving Opportunities
  • Information for Attorneys 
Introduction to Planned Giving

When you support the Great Southwest Council, you can choose from a number of convenient ways to make a gift. Often, the type of gift you wish to make will determine the techniques available to you. Also, depending on the type of gift and the technique used, special tax and financial benefits can result.

Designating Your Gift

Through a gift, you might create a campership so the success you now enjoy is made possible for others. Or your interests might lie in enhancing the Chimayo Scout Reservation, Scoutreach, training, or a specific program within the council. Your gift can be an individual expression of your vision and goals.

As you begin to define your goals, there are some questions you might consider: What are my personal objectives and needs? What are my financial goals? What is the best asset to use to make my gift? Which gift plans can best accomplish my goals for my family and the Boy Scouts of America?

The Great Southwest Council Development Department is a resource for you. The staff is experienced in gift planning and understands the importance of philanthropy as a part of a successful overall estate plan. We are available to assist you and your advisers as you consider the many opportunities presented in this informational material. Our goal is to present you with options and to help you make the best choice possible. We accomplish this by ensuring that your gift expresses your interests in Scouting, and maximizes the benefits you and the Great Southwest Council receive from your gift. Scouting’s planned giving professionals will work closely and confidentially with you and your financial advisers to ensure that your gift achieves your individual goals, and expresses your personal vision for the Great Southwest Council.

Income Producing Gift Plans

Several gift plans enable you to make a gift to the Boy Scouts of America while providing income for yourself or others. You also may increase your spendable income through tax benefits and diversification of assets. These plans, each offering distinct advantages, allow you to tailor your giving to meet your personal needs and achieve your financial goals.

All of the plans offer current income tax deductions, and all provide the opportunity to avoid or reduce capital gain tax if appreciated property is used to make the gift. Each plan can be shaped to help you reduce or eliminate gift and estate taxes. With these plans, the remainder of your gift is available to the Boy Scouts of America only after the income period you select is completed. You designate how the Great Southwest Council will ultimately use this remainder.

Although most of these gift plans are created during a benefactor's lifetime, all can be established through your will. Such testamentary gift plans serve to reduce estate taxes, and may accomplish other personal and financial goals.

Careful planning with the Great Southwest Council and your advisers is important in evaluating the effectiveness of these plans for your situation. We would be pleased to provide you details of the personal benefits and financial implications of either a lifetime or testamentary gift using any of the income-producing plans.

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
    • Unitrust - When you want a variable amount of income
    • Annuity Trust - When you want a set amount of income
  • The Pooled Income Fund - Pool your gifts with others
  • Gift Annuity - Fixed income payments that begin immediately or in the future
  • Deferred Payment Gift Annuity - Supplement your future income
Other Planned Giving Opportunities

For more information on other planned giving opportunities, please click on a link below:

Charitable Remainder Trust

A trust is a legal agreement that specifies how the assets placed under the trust will be managed. The charitable remainder trust is an attractive method to achieve a variety of goals. The two types of charitable remainder trusts—the unitrust and the annuity trust—are often used by Great Southwest Council benefactors to attain their personal financial objectives while making a significant gift to the Boy Scouts of America. The type of remainder trust best suited to you depends on your individual needs.


The unitrust often is chosen because it is market sensitive. Your income from the trust varies annually; it is based on a yearly determination of the value of the assets you placed in the trust. Thus, the arrangement is responsive to market fluctuations, and your income can provide a hedge against inflation. If you have assets that are difficult to value, there may be other gift plans better suited to your situation.

Many benefactors choose the unitrust for gifts of real estate. If you use real estate to fund the trust, your payments will begin when the property is sold and the trust reinvests the proceeds of the sale in income-producing assets. Because you receive income only after the property is sold, you may elect to receive additional income later to make up for the payments that were not made to you before the property was sold.

You can make additional gifts to the trust at any time; these usually result in a higher annual income and additional deductions. The trust can be for one or more lifetimes, or can be for a specified term up to twenty years. If certainty in the annual amount of income is your priority, then the next trust arrangement -- the annuity trust -- may be a better option.

Annuity Trust

This trust provides an income that does not fluctuate with the market. You receive a fixed percentage of the initial value of the assets placed in the trust. This arrangement is ideal for benefactors who do not want their annual charitable trust income stream tied to market performance.

As with the unitrust, this trust can be for one or more lifetimes, or it can be for a specified term -- up to twenty years. Of course, the initial annuity amount should be set at a prudent level so that the trust principal will remain sufficient to meet the income requirements. Your advisers will be able to provide you with guidance on a percentage appropriate to your needs and based on a reasonable market forecast.

Pooled Income Fund

The pooled income fund is somewhat similar to a mutual fund investment, because your gift to the Boy Scouts of America is "pooled" with others in the fund. You have access to professional management of your money without cost to you, and are able to diversify your investments. The investment philosophy is to obtain a competitive yield with moderate growth and relative stability of the annual income return.

You may choose to receive the lifetime income from your share of the fund, or may select up to two other individuals as beneficiaries. The income is paid quarterly. After the death of the last life income beneficiary, the remainder of your gift becomes available to the Great Southwest Council to use for the program or facility you designate. Your current income tax deduction is for the remainder value of the gift.

Your investment can begin at $5,000, and you may add contributions in increments of $1,000 or more as often as desired.

If receiving tax-free income is a priority, then you should consider one of the other trust vehicles or the charitable gift annuity, because the pooled fund may not receive or invest in tax-exempt securities. 

Charitable Gift Annuity

The charitable gift annuity is among the easiest and most popular methods of making a planned charitable gift. Here is how it works: you make a gift of cash or readily marketable securities to the Boy Scouts of America. The minimum gift is $10,000 for each annuity you establish. By a simple agreement, the Boy Scouts of America promises to pay you a fixed percentage of the value of your gift for the lives of up to two individuals. You may, but do not have to be one of the annuitants. Each annuitant must be at least 65 years of age.

The income is paid quarterly, and begins immediately. You also receive an immediate income tax deduction, based on the remainder value of your gift. An additional advantage is that part of the annual income you receive will be tax-free return of principal. It is important to remember that the annuity rate and the value of the gift, and therefore the amount of your deduction, increase with the age of the annuitant(s). This makes the immediate charitable gift annuity even more attractive for older benefactors.

A variation of the gift annuity is the deferred payment gift annuity. It is designed to appeal to younger benefactors, of at least 35 years of age, who desire the benefits of a current income tax deduction, and want to supplement their future income.

The Great Southwest Council will use your gift after the expiration of the lifetime income interest. As with all gifts, you may designate how the Great Southwest Council will ultimately use this remainder. You may make your gift unrestricted, or select that it be used for a particular purpose of special interest to you. We will assist you in making a designation that reflects your interests.

Deferred Gift Annuity

The deferred payment gift annuity is a variation of the gift annuity. To participate in this gift plan, the annuitants need only to have reached their 35th birthday. Income payments must be deferred for at least one year. Payments cannot commence until the annuitants are at least age sixty.

The deferred payment gift annuity appeals to younger benefactors who desire the benefits of a current income tax deduction and who want to supplement their future income on a tax-deferred basis. The longer the deferral period, the larger the immediate income tax charitable deduction and the larger the future annuity payments.

Each deferred gift annuity can be established with a minimum gift of $2,500 for one life annuity or $5,000 for two. The income will be paid to you quarterly, commencing on a future date you specify, on or after your sixtieth birthday. The benefits of the deferred annuity are the same as for the immediate charitable gift annuity; however, deferring the income usually results in a greater deduction and even larger annuity payments.

You may make your gift for a deferred annuity in a single transfer, in a series of transfers, or in periodic transfers during especially high income years. The income will be paid to you quarterly, commencing on a future date you specify, on or after your sixtieth birthday. The benefits of the deferred annuity are the same as for the immediate charitable gift annuity; however, deferring the income usually results in a greater deduction and even larger annuity payments.


A will is a statement about what matters most in your life. By making a will, you can ensure that your intentions are clearly expressed, and that they will be followed by those administering your estate.

After providing for family, friends, and others, many alumni and friends include a meaningful gift. For many, this is their first gift, but for others it is an opportunity to continue their lifetime support. These gifts take several forms: specific bequests of property, bequests of a stated dollar amount, and bequests of a percentage of the estate. A gift can even be residual—taking effect only after all other provisions of your will have been satisfied. Or a gift can be contingent—taking effect only if the other provisions can't be satisfied.

Charitable bequests are an excellent way to provide for the Great Southwest Council without parting with assets during your lifetime. You receive the benefit of an estate tax deduction for the amount of your gift, and can specify your preferences regarding the use of the gift within the council.

It is very important that the bequest be correctly stated in your will. We will be happy to provide you and your legal adviser with suggested terminology to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. It is also important to share your plans with the Great Southwest Council, especially if you designate how Scouting is to use your bequest when it is received. The information can remain confidential and you will have the assurance that your gift and its designated use are appropriate and understood by the Great Southwest Council.

Also, if you share your plans, the Council will have the opportunity to acknowledge your thoughtfulness and generosity through The Heritage Society. To join, please visit The Heritage Society commitment form (Adobe Acrobat Document).

Estate Note

Some people plan on making a gift to the Great Southwest Council through their estate, but want to make an irrevocable commitment. Thus, they choose the estate note to assure their bequest.

An estate note formalizes your intent to make a gift to the Council. It offers the security of knowing that your ultimate plans for the Great Southwest Council will become reality, for example, if you are unable to complete your pledge commitment during your lifetime.

The estate note is a simple, written agreement with the Great Southwest Council that specifies the amount of your intended gift and states how it is to be used by the Council. It is not a substitute for a will. It is a supplement to your will and the estate note should be referenced in your will for clarity of your intentions. Because it is an irrevocable, legally binding agreement, benefactors who sign estate notes receive lifetime recognition for their gift as they would with any irrevocable, lifetime commitment.

An estate note is especially useful if you desire to make a gift commitment over a period of years toward an endowment, a building project, or another specific program. For example, if you would like to establish a campership and plan to build the fund through gifts spread over several years, the formal expression of your intent in an estate note assures you that any outstanding portion of your commitment will be fulfilled through your estate.

It is best to record your estate note gift in your will or estate plan, and to alert your executor or personal representative. We encourage you to keep your signed estate note with your other estate planning documents and to give a copy, along with your will, to your attorney.

Living Trust

A popular and versatile estate planning tool is the living trust. This is sometimes called an inter vivos trust because it is created and begins functioning during your lifetime. Many people are using this trust to organize personal finances, provide for family members, and make gifts to the Great Southwest Council.

The trust agreement is written to meet your needs and specifications. It keeps you in control of your assets during your lifetime and also specifies how your property should be distributed after your death. A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. Even if you have a living trust, it is still advisable to have a will. The will transfers into the trust any assets or property that are either deliberately or inadvertently omitted. Depending on the state where you reside, a living trust can avoid probate delays and reduce the expenses of estate administration.

These advantages should be weighed against the cost of administering the trust during your lifetime. A trust can enhance your estate planning and reduce estate taxes; however, a living trust is not suitable for everyone, and for some people it may be more expensive and burdensome than a will. To determine whether a living trust is suitable for your needs, you should consult your attorney.

As with a will, the living trust is an excellent way to make a gift to the Great Southwest Council. Your gift can be of any size and virtually any asset, and you can specify the preferred use of your gift. The provision for the Great Southwest Council can easily be added to your trust agreement, and it may be a specific, contingent, residual, or remainder gift. To ensure that your wishes will be fulfilled, please contact the Great Southwest Council’s Development Department for specific suggestions regarding the wording of your gift.

Retirement Plan Designations

The need to plan today for the future is never more apparent than with retirement. Retirement is a turning point in life -- your reward for a lifetime of work. It is never too early to plan, because the security and comfort you deserve hinges on proper preparation.

In addition to the Social Security and Medicare systems, many individuals have supplemented their retirement income with investments in IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts), pension and profit-sharing plans, and other savings vehicles. In fact, on retirement, many people discover that the bulk of their assets are invested in these plans.

Many of these people also do not realize that, after providing for themselves and those who depend on them, these retirement investments open up many convenient and cost-effective charitable gift opportunities. With the growth in retirement and pension plan investments, many benefactors are now choosing to make a gift of their excess, or remaining, retirement funds once these funds are no longer needed.

This is a simple and convenient way to make a significant gift to the Great Southwest Council. If you have an IRA, or participate in a Keogh or qualified pension or profit-sharing plan, you can designate the Great Southwest Council as beneficiary of any remaining funds you do not use. During your life, you retain complete access to the funds. There will be an estate tax deduction for any gifts that eventually come to Scouting. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have made a meaningful and thoughtful gift. Your employer or financial institution can assist you in making the designation, using a simple form available at your request.

It is best to notify the Great Southwest Council if you are contemplating this potential gift. We will assist you in determining how the Council is to use your gift, and in answering any questions you may have. Your plans will remain confidential if you desire.

Learn more about how to avoid giving up to 80% of your retirement plan to the government in this Adobe Acrobat (PDF) brochure.

Charitable Lead Trusts

The charitable lead trust is a gift of income to the Great Southwest Council. You select the assets to place in trust, and the length of time that your trust will last. Income from the trust is paid to the Great Southwest Council for the specified period of time. When the trust terminates, the assets (or principal) are returned to you or distributed to whomever you choose. Income received by the council from this trust is used for the purposes you specify.

This trust is a specialized estate-planning tool. It is especially valuable if you have substantial estate and gift tax liabilities because it allows you to achieve several goals through one gift. You are able to make a significant gift to the Great Southwest Council, enjoy tax savings, and transfer assets to subsequent generations with reduced or eliminated estate, inheritance, and gift taxes.

A potential tax benefit is the exclusion of the trust income from your annual taxable income for the duration of the trust. Although this is not always possible with a charitable lead trust, we would be happy to discuss how you might structure a lead trust to maximize the benefits to you.

The lead trust is generally a lifetime gift; however, you can establish a testamentary lead trust that would provide similar benefits to your estate, as you would enjoy during your lifetime.

Life Endowment Program

Many benefactors who provide consistent, generous gifts to the Scouting would like to create an endowment at the Great Southwest Council but for various reasons, they find the minimum endowment levels unattainable. Or they hope to someday create an endowment through their estate, although they would prefer to see their endowment at work during their lifetime.

The Great Southwest Council's Lifetime Endowment Program now gives you an option: a larger endowment than you might have thought possible, at a much lower cost. Your gifts to this program are invested by the council until your desired endowment dollar goal is reached—then your endowment begins to work. The program is designed so that the endowment you create is likely to be activated during your lifetime.

For example, if you are 40, you could create a lifetime endowment with a five-year pledge of at least $2,400 per year. The council would invest the gift until it reaches a minimum of $50,000. Based on past investment performance and actuarial tables, the endowment should reach the goal during your lifetime. The endowment would bear your name, and can be designated to a specific program or campership support.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Shelby |  Scout Executive

Great Southwest Council

5841 Office Blvd NE  
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
P 505.503.2384  
|  C 505.999.9806