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Lessons in Smart Charitable Giving

Mike Clauretie

Mike Clauretie

Mike Clauretie is an emeritus professor of economics at the Lee Business School who spent 22 years at UNLV preparing young business school students to make sound financial decisions. He was instrumental in founding the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies; authored dozens of academic papers on finance, taxation, and eminent domain; and still serves as an expert witness in court cases involving valuation of business income and expropriation.

So, when Professor Clauretie says that it makes financial sense to make his annual gift to UNLV directly from his Individual Retirement Account (IRA), it's worth paying attention.

"Now that I'm past the age of 70½, I have to take a mandatory distribution from my IRA every year. By directing this distribution from my IRA as a gift to UNLV, I don't have to pay taxes on the distribution," he says. "More of my dollars go to UNLV, and fewer to Washington."

Clauretie has been a leadership donor to UNLV for more than 20 years. He also recently used money from his mandatory IRA distribution to seed an endowed scholarship fund.

"It's important to me to give something back to the university that's given so much to me," he explains. "UNLV supported my research, allowed me to teach courses that mattered to me, and helped me grow professionally."

He has also been a loyal supporter—financially and as a dyed-in-the-wool fan—of Rebel Athletics.

"It may seem funny now, but one of the things that drew me to Las Vegas so long ago was that I was a big fan of basketball," Clauretie recollects. "The Runnin' Rebels had fireworks at their games! I wanted to see that."

But it's not the fireworks that keeps Clauretie sporting the Scarlet and Gray.

"The best part of being a Rebel is meeting new fans at every game, and wherever we go. My wife Patty and I have met a family of fans who are the best people in the world."

Charitable IRA Rollover

If you are 70½ years old or older, you can take advantage of an easy way to make a gift to UNLV and receive tax benefits in return. You can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as the UNLV Foundation without having to pay income taxes on the distribution.

The transfer from your IRA to the UNLV Foundation generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions. Your gift can be designated to a college, school, or program of your choice.

If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution for the year, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement. Contact your IRA custodian to complete the gift.

The UNLV Foundation recommends that you consult your tax professionals if you are considering a gift from your IRA. For information, contact Bud Beekman at 702-895-2841 or visit

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the UNLV Foundation 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 UNLV Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4505 S. Maryland Parkway/Box 451006, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1006 , 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 UNLV 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 UNLV 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 UNLV 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 UNLV where you agree to make a gift to UNLV 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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