MSAA: Publications - The Motivator: Winter 2008 - Thoughts about Giving
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Home > MSAA Publications > The Motivator > The Motivator: Winter 2008 > Thoughts about Giving
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Thoughts about Giving

Bruce Makous Photo
Bruce Makous

By Bruce Makous, Vice President of Development

People Helping People

I frequently have an opportunity to meet our donors. It's always a great pleasure to become acquainted with the generous people who provide the financial support that allows us to enrich the quality of life for people living with MS.

In November I met many supporters in the Dallas area at a President's Circle reception, and I was impressed to see their enthusiasm and support for MSAA. I also recently visited with one of our key donors, Dr. Aida Chohayeb, at her home in Rockville, Maryland. She told me the story of her distinguished career in dentistry and dental research. She explained that she has a very close friend with progressive MS and this is why she has such strong feelings about supporting MSAA.

Consultant Sue Offenberg Photo

My duties also afford me the special opportunity to become acquainted with MSAA clients, which is another great pleasure. Our 2006-2007 Annual Report features a number of our clients. Mary Lynch recently spent the morning at our national headquarters. A retired nurse, Mary shared her enthusiasm about our Helpline and Equipment Distribution Programs – particularly our cooling equipment – which reduces reactions to heat, which Mary doesn't tolerate well because of her multiple sclerosis.

I also became acquainted with Joyce Jackson, a retired medical administrator. Joyce expressed her appreciation for all of the items MSAA has provided to her, including a wheelchair, a bathtub seat, and a walker. Diane Wassy received a ramp that provides access to her home in her wheelchair and she too expressed how grateful she was to MSAA and the donors who made this possible.

Meeting both the people who give and those who receive is a wonderful part of my work. It reminds me everyday that MSAA is a special vehicle through which many good people (our generous donors) can help another group of good people (those living with multiple sclerosis) by supporting programs that help enrich their lives everyday.

Thank you, Mary, Joyce, Diane, and all the other people like you who have expressed your warm goodwill towards MSAA. And thank you, Aida, and all of our generous donors, for helping so much in the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis.

President's Circle Reception in Dallas

MSAA was pleased to hold a special reception for its supporters at the Baron House in Dallas, Texas. Attendees were given tours of the house, and MSAA representatives expressed appreciation for their vital support.

President's Circle Reception in Dallas Photo MSAA donor Jane Yates receives special recognition at the Dallas President's Circle reception in November. From left, MSAA Board member Joe King; MSAA Board member Annette Howard, MD; Jane Yates; and President's Circle Chairman Eric Simons.

MSAA President and CEO Douglas Franklin, along with several members of MSAA's Board of Directors, had the opportunity to personally thank MSAA's donors and volunteers in the Dallas area. MSAA's President's Circle program provides special appreciation and recognition for loyal and generous donors. More than 350 individuals from across the country are currently recognized as President's Circle donors.

Charitable Planning to Reduce Taxes

As we head into the 2008 tax season, strategies for reducing taxes are always a popular subject. Consider tax-advantaged methods of contributing to MSAA, such as a gift of appreciated assets or a gift annuity.

A Gift of Stocks, Bonds, or Mutual Funds

A gift of appreciated assets such as stocks or mutual funds, has several advantages. First, you receive an income tax deduction for the full fair-market value of the assets. Second, a charitable contribution eliminates the need to pay the capital gains taxes that you would pay if you sold the assets. Finally, MSAA will be able to use the full value of the transferred funds to help people with MS. It's a win-win situation.

For example, let's assume a donor in the 33-percent income tax bracket owns stock that originally cost $20 a share, and today is worth $100 a share. If she contributes 10 shares, or a $1,000 stock value, to MSAA, she saves $333 in taxes. And she avoids paying $120 in capital gains taxes, required if she sold the shares. Finally, the gift will allow MSAA to help more people through its programs.

A Gift Annuity

Creating a gift annuity is an excellent way to establish a legacy fund with MSAA, while also receiving additional income for yourself and your spouse. A gift annuity provides income to the donor or couple for a lifetime, at a rate based on age at the time the annuity is created. (Please refer to the gift annuity rate chart on the back cover of The Motivator.) Gift annuities also provide funding for MSAA from the residual value.

Gift Annuity Illustration Chart

For example, if both members of a couple are age 72 and give MSAA a gift annuity worth $10,000, they will receive 6 percent, or $600 per year, for life. And they will qualify for a federal income tax deduction of approximately $3,496, which will save them $1,154 in taxes, assuming they are in the 33-percent tax bracket. In addition, $346 of each year's payments will be tax-free for the first 18 years. Finally, the residuary of the gift provides generous support for their favorite charity: MSAA.

Please note that after the tax savings from the income tax deduction, their initial contribution is actually only $8,846, so the $600 annual payment to them actually represents an after-tax rate of return of 6.8 percent. Also, $346 of the annuity payment is tax-free, making the $600 annuity equivalent to $771 of taxable income for a beneficiary in the 33-percent income tax bracket. Based on the $8,846 initial contribution, this is an equivalent rate of return of 8.7 percent. It's hard to find an investment that is guaranteed for life and will provide you with rates this high...and also one that will give funding to a charity you want to support.

"I had been supporting MSAA through annual contributions, and decided I wanted to establish a legacy gift, too, " said Herbert Weisz of Deerfield Beach, Florida. In April, Herb and his wife created a gift annuity with MSAA and will receive income from this gift throughout their lifetime. The balance will provide general support for MSAA to help people with MS.

If you have thoughts about giving, please feel free to contact Bruce Makous at (800) 532-7667, extension 148, or email


Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 11:01