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How to Help Your Children Be Generous

6 Secrets for Cultivating Charity at Home

If you have children, chances are there’s a bit more stuff in your house now that the holidays are over. Perhaps concerns of materialism are lingering in the back of your mind as you survey the bounty of new toys and gadgets your children have received.

There are simple ways you can model charitable behavior and teach your children to be altruistic, which in turn can help build their self-esteem, teach them the importance of community involvement, and give them a greater appreciation for the things they have in their lives.

Here are a few ideas to help your children get started down the right path:

  1. Talk about giving. Discuss the importance of helping others and how good it feels to make a meaningful contribution. Share why The University of Texas at Austin and other favorite charitable organizations are important to you, and ask your children what causes interest them.
  2. Give your children an allowance. Teach your children about money and helping others by giving them an allowance and dividing it three ways: one to spend, one to save, and one to give to a charity of their choice.
  3. Show them the need. Visit charities that your children are interested in supporting. Read books about other cultures, or talk about the news and the problems others face around the world. This gives your children a more personal connection to the people and causes that will benefit from their gift.
  4. Let them choose. Allow your children to select an organization or program that they want to support. Ask them why they opted for that charity. You may be pleasantly surprised by the sensitivity of their selections.
  5. Provide an update. At regular intervals, discuss how the organization used their donations. Ask if they wish to support the same charity or a different one, and talk about other ways they might be able to help, such as volunteering.
  6. Match your children’s generosity. Children learn by watching you, and one way you can help encourage their passion for causes that are important to them is to match their gifts to their selected organizations.

Grow the Seeds of Generosity

Once you’ve planted the idea of giving in your children, we can help you nurture and grow their charitable spirits. Contact the Gift and Estate Planning Team at giftplan@austin.utexas.edu or 512-475-9632 to talk about ways that you and your family can support The University of Texas at Austin.

Contact the Gift and Estate Planning Team at  giftplan@austin.utexas.edu, 512-475-9632 or 800-687-4602 to talk about ways that you and your family can support The University of Texas at Austin.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University of Texas at Austin a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to The University of Texas at Austin, a nonprofit corporation currently located at P.O. Box 7458 Austin, TX 78713 , or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the university or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the university as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the university as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the university where you agree to make a gift to the university and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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