Why Planned Giving?

Most people require some kind of assistance in life, whether it’s physical, financial or spiritual. During life’s struggles, we are often reminded that more must be done to continue positive, humane acts of kindness, and to sustain programs for personal enrichment. We wish more funding were available for medical research, for Christian education, or a much needed missionary work.

As a result, many people want to make charitable gifts but need to do so in a way that helps meet their other personal, family, or financial needs. Planned gifts give you options for making your charitable gifts in ways that may allow you to:

  • Make a larger charitable gift than you thought possible
  • Increase your current income
  • Plan for the financial needs of a spouse or loved one
  • Provide inheritances for your heirs at a reduced tax cost
  • Reduce your income tax and/or avoid capital gains tax
  • Diversify your investment portfolio
  • Receive income from your personal residence or farm
  • Plan for the transfer of your business
  • Leave a charitable legacy for future generations

Oakwood University acknowledges the many sustaining estate gifts it has received from its alumni and the broader family of faith, as a whole, during the last 120 years.  We are often pleasantly surprised to receive notices that the University is the beneficiary of major gifts of property, undesignated cash, and endowed funding from individuals we have not had the pleasure to meet.  These thoughtful and generous individuals just felt moved to invest in our students and the growth of our educational mission. As a result, Oakwood is stronger and in a better position to serve students for decades to come.

Mrs. Irizona Bland Duckworth holds the distinction of being our first and most prolific annuity contractee.  She contracted four annuities with Oakwood University many years ago. Mrs. Duckworth recently passed and was laid to rest in the State of Michigan.  However, the legacy she established at Oakwood University will long exceed her ninety-plus years of life.   She was a visionary and encouraged us to include charitable gift annuities in our menu of fundraising offerings. In subsequent years, Mrs. Duckworth gifted several additional annuities to stimulate more participation in this area. In brief, we owe the establishment of our estate-planning initiative to her vision and unrelenting tenacity to see our institution move forward in the area of fund raising.

By making bequests and other “planned gifts,” you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community. Can you think of a better way to thank the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life than to make a contribution from your estate through a bequest?

If you or someone you know would like more information on how you can make a planned gift to benefit Oakwood University, please contact our development office by emailing Lewis Jones at or calling him at 256-726-7586.

Gifts large and small are important. Charitable giving is not only for the wealthy!

by Lewis Jones, Assistant Director of Development/Planned Giving Officer

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