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"Offline Giving”: The Future of Tax-wise Philanthropy

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"Offline Giving”: The Future of Tax-wise Philanthropy

Presenter: Gregory Sperry, JD, National Christian Foundation

Increased tax rates and likely changes in the charitable tax deduction are threatening the ‘tax-efficiency’ of traditional cash giving. Those focused on their philanthropy are beginning to consider alternative arrangements for maximizing the tax-wise impact of their contributed dollar.

This presentation will consider specific examples of givers moving a portion of their ‘economic engine’ offline by holding such value in arrangements that do not report income into the giver’s tax return. This includes split-interest arrangements that benefit family and charity (minimizing tax reporting of family to that value needed for lifestyle purposes), as well as outright gift structures that soley benefit charity during and/or at the end of life. The underlying thesis submits that a philanthropically inclined person with income well exceeding lifestyle from year to year, should consider how their tax liabilities may be lowered to that amount more fairly attributable to such income.

Strategies discussed will include the use of rental real estate, intellectual property, mineral interests, investment securities, operating business interest and private placement annuities. This presentation will benefit advisors serving high net worth givers who prefer to structure their giving (and increase their giving) by minimizing tax obligations to the extent possible without adversely impacting control, capitalization and lifestyle. Such advisors will be challenged to think ‘beyond ownership’ and focus on ‘control’ in examining pathways to greater generosity for their clients.”

Gregory L. Sperry entered the practice of law after attending Wheaton College (Illinois) and Vanderbilt University School of Law. After five years of practice, he began serving with MAP International (Brunswick, Georgia) to provide gift and estate planning information for individuals (and their advisors) desiring to maximize their planning for gifts during life and death. In 1991, Mr. Sperry spearheaded the effort to form an independent, Christian community foundation, providing services that enabled individuals to give more to the Church and its ministries. In October, 1996, Mr. Sperry formed a law firm where Mr. Sperry concentrated his practice entirely on gift and estate planning services.

Mr. Sperry began serving the National Christian Foundation (NCF) and its affiliated local Christian Foundations in the late 1990's and now serves as Executive Vice President of Gift Planning Services. NCF exists to enable followers of Christ to give wisely to advance His Kingdom. This mission is principally pursued by providing donor advised funds, over $3 Billion in the last 12 years, whereby Christians may accomplish their giving objectives.

In addition to offering gift planning information to donors and their advisors, for over twenty five years Mr. Sperry has been a frequent presenter at seminars and charitable gift planning forums, focusing upon the tax, legal and stewardship aspects of gift planning. Given the sophistication of planning services and the ever-changing tax rules and regulations, Mr. Sperry is involved annually in The Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning in Orlando, as well as other conferences on planned giving and charitable giving techniques for his continuing education of current trends, analysis and techniques.

Mr. Sperry lives on St. Simons Island, Georgia, with his wife, Barbara. They have three adult children, Susan, Steven, and Daniel.

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