Gifts of Life Insurance Q&A

How can donating life insurance help me create a charitable legacy?

A life insurance policy can make an excellent charitable gift by leveraging your relatively small premiums into a significant future contribution.

If you don't have $100,000 to give outright, for example, but you can manage a $1,000-a-year premium, you can leverage your existing gift dollars for a much larger future gift. Plus, you are eligible for a charitable gift deduction on your yearly premiums.

By using life insurance to establish a legacy fund through The Dayton Foundation, you can maximize your wealth now, protect existing assets and grow your charitable gift without diminishing your estate.

How do I make a life insurance gift?

There are three life insurance gift options.

  • Transfer ownership of an existing policy and designate The Dayton Foundation as the beneficiary. You generally will receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the lesser of the policy’s value or your cost basis in the policy (usually the total amount of premiums paid). Plus, you will reduce your taxable estate.
  • Purchase a new policy with the Foundation as the owner and beneficiary. You will receive a charitable income tax deduction for the gift, as well as for additional contributions to cover the annual premium payments. Maximize your tax benefits further by gifting appreciated stock to cover the premiums.
  • Retain ownership and change the beneficiary designation to The Dayton Foundation. You will not receive a current income tax deduction for your future gift or for your premium payments. You can, however, retain control of the policy, borrow against it, cash it in or change the beneficiary designation at any time. Partial beneficiary designations, such as a specific percentage, offer another option. When you pass away, the proceeds will be included in your estate, and your estate will be eligible for a charitable deduction for the portion set aside for charity.

How do I contribute gifts of life insurance?

Please contact a member of our Development Department at (937) 222-0410 to discuss the details of such a proposed gift.

With any gift arrangement, we recommend that you consult with your financial planner or attorney first. All gifts are subject to approval by the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee and the Governing Board.

For more information or to discuss a gift plan that works for your individual needs, contact a member of our Development Department at (937) 222-0410.

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File date: 09.11.23


Michelle Lovely

“Did you know a deferred charitable gift annuity could be used to offset your taxable income today, then provide funds for your favorite charities after your lifetime? Contact me for more about this and other planned giving options.”
Michelle Lovely, senior vice president, Development and Donor Services, (937) 225-9948

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