February 3, 2020

Here is some great news to anyone considering making a gift to Texas A&M University: Gifts are not one size fits all. Whether a current or planned gift, there are many ways to give that fit your giving style, and most importantly, your lifestyle.

Read through our top five reasons to love planned gifts, and maybe you’ll find a reason to love planned giving, too!


Your assets are extremely valuable during your lifetime. While wealth doesn’t equate to happiness, it does provide security to live comfortably in a society where the cost of living continues to rise. However, as the familiar saying goes: “You can’t take it with you when you go.” A planned gift allows you to support a cause you are passionate about after your lifetime without the fear of gifting assets you may need while you’re living.


A planned gift like a testamentary charitable remainder unitrust, also known as a “give it twice” trust, allows donors to donate to a cause they love, while financially supporting loved ones and taking advantage of tax benefits. A “give it twice” trust can be included in your will or living trust. It is funded after your lifetime and provides payments to your named beneficiaries for a selected term of years or their lifetimes. After the designated timeframe, the trust remainder is distributed for the benefit of the charity.


It is a major misconception that only extremely wealthy people can make a gift of sizeable impact. This is especially true in planned giving. There are many scenarios in which donors can maximize the value of an asset by investing it in a charitable remainder unitrust or charitable gift annuity, which provides a greater rate of return to the benefactor and overall gift amount. For example, the late Peggy and John R. Hill Jr. ’44 established a charitable remainder unitrust which nearly doubled in value during their lifetimes, amplifying its long-term impact on Texas A&M once realized.   


Unfortunately, wealth is often associated with tax burdens. If you are considering donating to a charity, a planned gift could help alleviate this headache. There are many forms of assets you can donate to a charity, such as funds from your IRA, appreciated securities like stocks, and personal property such as real estate, farm equipment, oil and gas royalties, artwork, etc. Using similar assets to create a planned gift will greatly reduce taxes. Refer to our past article, “Maximize Your Year-End Charitable Contributions,” by accounting and tax expert Andy Beakey ’84, for detailed information on the advantages charitable giving provides taxpayers.


If you plan a gift with the Texas A&M Foundation, you receive an invitation to join an elite group of fellow Texas A&M supporters. Once you become a Heritage Member, we recognize your commitment to providing a brighter future for the university by inviting you to annual donor appreciation events, such as the Heritage Tailgate held each fall. You'll also receive special member-only mailings and be included in exclusive opportunities to network with other Aggies. 

Donor Discussion

Learn why these Texas A&M Foundation donors love planned giving.
  • Kay and Charlie Pence '51

    “We realized we could donate our ranch, but still enjoy the beauty of it. The option was so flexible: It gives us a home and an opportunity to designate our funds to programs we’re passionate about, while letting Texas A&M know we are committed to giving back.”

  • Wilda ’80 and Dan Wahrenbrock

    “The gift process gave us the chance to sift through old memories. I had forgotten a lot about my time in Aggieland, and my mom had forgotten many of my dad’s legendary Aggie stories. Making this gift allowed us to relive those times.”

  • Lee Walker ’63

    “There is a sense of closure from making an inventory of the gifts you have received during your life and sorting them out in your will. It’s not an obligation, but an opportunity. I figured out how to take a gift that was given to me and keep it alive. That is the core of philanthropy.”

  • Carolyn ’69 ’75 and Tom Adair ’57 ’65

    “We don’t have children of our own, so giving all of our assets to benefit our adopted Aggie family made sense. As the university grows, we hope these gifts enhance programs and provide students an opportunity to receive a world-renowned education.”

  • The late Betty and Paul Leming Jr. ’52

    “We gained tax advantages by getting the securities out of our estate, and we receive annual payments that we plan to distribute equally to our children. Eventually, these funds will benefit Texas A&M programs that are important to us.”