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Planned Giving

Thirty Years and Counting

How Loyal Donors' Gift of Real Estate Will Open Doors at GW

David and Diane Berg have continuously supported GW for the past 30 years.

David and Diane Berg have continuously supported GW for the past 30 years.

David Berg, BS '68, had an impressive 30-year career with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Last year, though, the number 30 took on a new meaning. As of 2014, Mr. Berg has supported his alma mater for more than 30 consecutive years.

Back in 2006, Mr. Berg and his wife, Diane, chose to establish the David W. Berg Scholarship in GW's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). This permanent, endowed scholarship provides annual support for undergraduate civil engineering students at SEAS who demonstrate financial need.

Recently, Mr. Berg decided to augment this scholarship endowment with an additional gift of real estate that will come to GW through a bequest in his will.

Real estate—contributed to GW through either an outright donation or a bequest in the donor's estate plan—is a unique giving vehicle. Thanks to the university's robust real estate gift acceptance program, many types of property may be contributed—from farms to vacation homes to rental properties to vacant land. Such gifts are quite flexible and, depending upon the giving arrangement that's used, may provide lifetime income for the donor and others, while also reducing or eliminating capital gains and/or estate taxes. Such gifts also provide a charitable income tax deduction.

Another gift arrangement, known as a retained life estate, enables the donor to contribute a personal residence, but continue to live in it for as long as he or she desires.

Mr. Berg's actions are a testament to his thoughtful consideration of his long-term investment and philanthropic goals. By donating one of several rental properties he owns in Richmond, Virginia, through his will, he will not only reduce his future taxable estate but will also relieve his family from having to assume the responsibilities of maintaining the property. Personal and financial benefits like these highlight the advantages and flexibility of donating gifts of real estate to GW.

In addition, endowment gifts like Mr. Berg's establish a far-reaching legacy by generating income in perpetuity. They help ensure GW's continued ability to thrive in the years ahead and build on the impressive momentum of Making History: The Campaign for GW.

Indeed, Mr. Berg's generosity—through both his annual and planned gifts—helps ensure that future engineers can pursue their academic dreams at GW for generations to come.

"The value of what this award has done means a lot more than its dollar amount," says Amzaray Ahmed, BS '14, the 2011-13 recipient. "It shows that [they] care, and this is what I most appreciate."

The Bergs met Amzaray at the 2013 Power & Promise Dinner, hosted each year by GW for donors who contribute scholarship support. While the couple receives annual letters from the students who receive the David W. Berg Scholarship, this was the first time they were able to meet a recipient in person.

"My scholarship is to promote civil engineering students, and here he is!" Mr. Berg said of meeting Amzaray for the first time.

Amzaray, who graduated last May and now works as a structural engineer for William Sale Partnership (WSP) USA in New York City, is just one of many whose lives were changed by the Bergs' generosity.

"It's nice to know there's someone out there who cares," he says. "It's a real person out there who wants to help."

Learn How You Can Help
Contact John Kendrick at 877-498-7590 or to learn how you can transform realty to gift reality at George Washington University.

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 George Washington University 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 George Washington University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2033 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052, 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 GW 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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 GW as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 GW 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 GW where you agree to make a gift to GW 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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