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Commercial, agricultural and residential real estate can all be donated. While the market always fluctuates, many types of real estate have seen a net increase in value over the last several years. If the highly appreciated property were sold, the owner could incur significant capital gains tax.

How do I make a charitable gift using real estate?

Make an outright gift. With this method, donors give to the foundation their interest in the property, and the foundation assumes all ownership obligations.

  • Use real estate to fund a charitable remainder unitrust or a charitable gift annuity, which will provide income to the donor or another beneficiary for a period of years or for life.
  • Donate land through your will.
  • Create a life estate gift using a farm or personal residence. This allows the donor to use the property for life while creating an immediate tax deduction. The foundation has full title to the property when the donor is deceased. Reserving a life estate in a farm and donating the remainder to the foundation, for example, allows the donor to continue to live on and operate the farm and take an immediate tax deduction.
  • Complete a bargain sale, where the donor sells the property to the foundation for less than the fair market value and receives a charitable deduction for the difference between market value and sale price.

Prior to accepting a real estate gift, the University of Nebraska Foundation must conduct a personal inspection of the property and evaluate its marketability, cash flow, environmental factors, title and other matters.

Who decides how my gift of real estate will be used?

You do. You can direct your gift to an existing fund at the foundation or create your own fund to support scholarships, academic programs or research. Creating a fund is a great way to keep your family’s legacy alive in perpetuity.

How do I learn more?

The foundation staff is happy to assist you with your gift of real estate. Contact the foundation’s general counsel office, and a staff member will work with you on all the necessary steps.