Planned Giving

Planned giving offers many choices and benefits for donors and their beneficiaries, while also providing substantial current or future support of AEI. The AEI Legacy Society is our way of recognizing those donors with such foresight for their generosity. Members of this society receive our regular articles and publications and are invited to participate in exclusive conference calls with AEI scholars. They are also invited to attend the AEI Annual Dinner—an annual black tie gala held each May in Washington, DC—and regional events in their area. 

Major ways of making a planned gift include:


Will or Trust Provisions

By including AEI in your will or trust, you reduce the taxable portion of your estate by the full amount of your gift and guarantee that this unique institution continues to thrive well into the future. To make a bequest to AEI, you must prepare a new will or add a codicil to your present will. To ensure that your exact intentions are carried out, wills, codicils, trusts, or amendments should be prepared by, or with the advice of, your attorney.

Unrestricted bequests or trust provisions permit AEI to use your gift wherever it is most needed; restricted bequests or trust provisions underwrite AEI activities in areas of greatest interest to you. If you're thinking about making a restricted gift, please consult with AEI in order to ensure that our strategic priorities align with your interests.

Suggested language for making an unrestricted gift by will or trust:

"I give [the sum of ________ dollars] [all or _________ percent of the residuary of my estate] to the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street, N.W., Washington, DC."


Suggested language for making a gift by will or trust for a specific purpose:

"I give [the sum of _________ dollars] [all or ___________ percent of the residuary of my estate] to the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street, N.W., Washington, DC, for the following purpose: [state the purpose]."


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Retirement Plan Assets and Life Insurance Policies

Retirement account assets such as IRAs, 401(k)s, Keoghs, and 403(b)s are another attractive way to support AEI. Left to your estate or to an individual who is not your spouse, these assets are subject to significant estate and income taxes. By designating AEI as the recipient of any benefits remaining in your retirement plan, the gift will escape both estate and income taxes, while also supporting AEI. You may designate AEI as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy or donate a policy to AEI. You may either name AEI as the primary beneficiary or as a contingent beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy where AEI would receive the proceeds should anything happen to a loved one named as a primary beneficiary. 


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Charitable Remainder Trusts

Friends of AEI who would like to make a substantial gift but must also consider their own and their spouses’ financial needs, may find a charitable remainder trust (CRT) to be an attractive solution. CRTs are life income plans that allow you to make a gift to AEI and retain a benefit from the assets you give, in some cases making it possible to contribute more than you originally thought affordable. When you establish a CRT, you make an irrevocable gift of assets and in return receive payments for life or for a term of years.  When the trust terminates, the assets remaining pass to AEI.

CRTs offer a number of important potential benefits. Donors receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction for the value of AEI’s remainder interest in the trust while earning income for life (for themselves or for any designated beneficiaries).  They may receive increased income in many cases from low-yield, appreciated securities. Donors likely eliminate capital gains tax liability if appreciated property is donated, while also reducing estate taxes. An added benefit to you would be the satisfaction of supporting AEI during your lifetime.

CRTs are separately managed irrevocable trusts that can be tailored to meet your financial goals, especially with respect to the payout rate, the length of the trust term, and the assets used to fund the trust. The recommended minimum contribution to establish a charitable remainder trust is $250,000.


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Charitable Lead Trusts

Another planned giving strategy, charitable lead trusts (CLTs), provide a method of making a significant contribution to AEI while transferring income-producing assets to your heirs at a greatly reduced tax cost. It differs from the CRT in that AEI receives the income for the term of the trust, which may be for a measuring life (or lives) or a term of years. At the end of the term, the remaining assets in the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you designate in the trust.

The value of the assets placed in this type of irrevocable trust is frozen for estate and gift tax purposes. Your beneficiaries thus receive any future appreciation in the value of the trust assets free from wealth transfer taxes. In most cases, you receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction equal to the value of the income interest passing to AEI.

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For further information regarding AEI's planned giving program, please click here, or contact Nicole Ruman Skinner, managing director of development (202.862.7189; [email protected]).

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