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|A Dean's Half Decade||Disunion, Continued|
|Harvard Portrait||Dreams Deferred|
|Front-Door Policy||Kroks Around the Clock|
|The Undergraduate||People in the News|
A funny thing happened on the way to the bank. Compared to prior fundraising efforts, more of the contributions to Harvard's University Campaign are coming in the form of deferred gifts. The result is double-edged: while the University may ultimately realize far more than the Campaign's $2.1 billion goal, in the near term the funds invested in the endowment to support student aid, new professorships, and building projects may total substantially less.
Deferred gifts, prominently in the form of charitable bequests, are nothing new. "John Harvard is the premier example," says Charles W. Collier, M.T.S. '73, senior planned giving adviser in the development office. "After all, he got his name on the institution." But things have changed in the intervening three-plus centuries-precisely, in 1969, when revisions of federal law codified the kinds of deferred giving that qualify as charitable deductions for income-tax purposes.
That ushered in a new era of giving. The Harvard Campaign raised $359 million from 1979 to 1984; according to Collier, at least $36 million, or 10 percent, was in the form of deferred charitable trusts. Through this February, the University Campaign had tallied $1,084,000,000; gifts totaling $220 million-20 percent-were deferred wholly or in part. Of the 16 largest gifts-each of $10 million or more-11 contain some deferred component. Both the magnitude of planned giving and the frequency of such gifts by the largest donors match the expectations of Campaign planners, according to Susan K. Feagin, associate dean for development in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
What accounts for the shift? Collier cites "the nature of the wealth" involved: when a donor gives Harvard an interest in a private company, real estate, or a partnership, instead of cash or liquid securities, the "nature of the gift asset" may require that it be given on a deferred basis. With the advent of Harvard Management Company in 1974, the University has built its capacity to maximize the value of a wide array of donated assets.
Increased awareness of the financial benefits of charitable-trust donations for the purpose of meeting estate- and tax-planning objectives is also involved, Collier notes. Witness The Harvard Manual on Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving, which has become something of a best-seller; now in its seventh edition, it has made "both the donors and their advisers better informed about these vehicles and their benefits than they were 15 years ago," Collier adds.
The Campaign records deferred gifts by "discounting" them to their present value. When the proceeds are actually received, years or decades hence, they will have grown substantially in dollar terms. So if planned giving continues at its current pace, the Campaign could ultimately realize $3 billion or more when all the funds are finally received. But after adjusting for the discounted value of $400 million to $500 million in planned gifts, assuming the goal of $2.1 billion is reached in 1999, the current cash on hand might total just $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion.
Perhaps that is why at a recent FAS meeting, Dean Jeremy R. Knowles sought to "modify the faculty's rapture" over the Campaign's progress. Paraphrasing Lewis Carroll, he reported that it would be best to expect jam not today or tomorrow, but "at the earliest, the day after tomorrow."
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