We Are the World

No matter what your politics, manmade or just nature taking its course, there is no question climate change is upon us. The annual Bank of America (formerly US Trust) study showed that although climate change was a top three issue for philanthropic consideration, climate change ranked barely in the top 20 of philanthropic donations.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 when a United States Senator from Wisconsin organized a national demonstration to raise awareness about environmental issues. Earth Day now includes a wide range of events involving an estimated one billion people in more than 193 countries. The official Earth Day theme for 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics”. As Earth Day approaches this year, April 22nd, it’s a time for reflection, action, and considering how we can make a positive impact on our planet. While activities such as planting trees; reducing waste; limiting single use plastic; promoting renewable energy; healthy buildings; and supporting other eco-friendly initiatives are often highlighted, there’s another way to contribute to the well-being of the Earth that you might not have considered: donating a life insurance policy to charity.

Life insurance is typically viewed as a means to provide financial security for loved ones in the event of our passing. However, it can also be a powerful tool for supporting causes that are for the greater good of all of us, including environmental conservation and sustainability efforts.

Why Donate a Life Insurance Policy?

There are several reasons why donating a life insurance policy can be an attractive option for those looking to support environmental causes:

      1. Leveraging Existing Assets: Many people already have life insurance policies in place that they may no longer need or can afford. By donating a policy, you can leverage an existing asset to make a significant charitable contribution which can positively impact your current financial situation.
      2. Tax Benefits: In many cases, donating a life insurance policy can provide tax benefits. Depending on the specifics of the policy and your tax situation, you may be eligible for a charitable deduction.*
      3. Legacy and Impact: By donating a life insurance policy to an environmental charity, you can leave a lasting legacy that reflects your values and commitment to protecting the planet for future generations. Your contribution can support initiatives such as reforestation, wildlife conservation, clean energy research, and more.
      4. Supporting Nonprofits: Charitable organizations rely on donations to fund their operations and carry out their missions. By donating a life insurance policy, you can provide crucial support to environmental nonprofits, enabling them to continue their vital work in protecting and preserving the Earth’s ecosystems.


How to Donate a Life Insurance Policy

Donating a life insurance policy to charity is a straightforward process when going through Insuring A Better World Fund which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to facilitate donations of life insurance for the benefit of other charities. From start to finish, Insuring A Better World Fund does it all so that charities and donors don’t have to. Insuring A Better World Fund pays all premiums and there is no cost to the charity you select to receive the net death benefits. Over 80% of adults 66+ years old don’t know there is an alternative to lapsing their unneeded life insurance. That is why Insuring A Better World Fund was founded by insurance professionals with many decades of experience. We have reimagined charitable gifts of life insurance. Now, your unneeded life insurance policy can become your no cost legacy. Consider donating a life insurance policy to charity as a powerful way to support environmental causes and ensure a brighter, greener future for all.

A Deloitte 2023 survey of Gen Zs and Millennials found that roughly 6 in 10 from both groups say they have felt anxious about the environment. Roughly the same percentage cite extreme weather events and wildfires as a stress driver. The majority are taking action, with 69 percent of Gen Zs and 73 percent of millennials actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment—not driving a car, avoiding fast fashion, making their homes more energy efficient, etc.

Everyone leaves this Earth and everyone leaves a Legacy. Let’s work together to leave a legacy of a sustainable Earth and ensure a better world for us all. Contact Insuring A Better World Fund at 312-819-0790 or ds@iabwf.org for more information. Happy Earth Day!

Teeing Up A Legacy

The Masters Golf Tournament is held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters is more than just a golf tournament; it is rich in history and legacy. Jack Nicklaus has won this prestigious championship a record six times. Tiger Woods began his legacy at the Masters in 1997 at only 21 years of age with a record-breaking score of 18 under par and has five titles to his credit. Arnold Palmer, nicknamed “the King” won the Masters four times. That is only part of their legacy. 

Nicklaus’s annual golf tournament, “The Memorial” honors the memory of individuals who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf, showcases the world’s best golfers, and has raised millions of dollars to benefit Columbus, Ohio charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation. Woods became not just a golfer, but a cultural icon, captivating audiences worldwide and popularizing golf in ways previously unimaginable, adding diversity and opportunity to the game. Palmer is credited with popularizing the game of golf and his famous Arnie’s Army which attracted record numbers of fans to tournaments worldwide. His foundation also has raised millions for children’s health charities. The influence Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods have had on the world extends far beyond their accomplishments in sports. 

You don’t have to be a Masters Champion to leave a legacy. Insuring A Better World Fund can help you leave a legacy with your life insurance policy. Furthermore, the act of donating a life insurance policy embodies the spirit of legacy in its purest form. It transcends material wealth and temporal success, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, generosity, and altruism.

Donating a life insurance policy to charity is a strategic move that enables individuals to leave behind a meaningful legacy providing support to causes they hold dear. When you donate a life insurance policy to Insuring A Better World Fund you no longer pay premiums and there is no cost to the charity you select to receive the net death benefits. 

Just as the Masters has left an indelible mark on the world of golf, so too can you leave your own lasting imprint on our world. Everyone leaves a legacy. What is yours? In the end, it is not the trophies or accolades that define a legacy but rather the lives touched, and the hearts uplifted along the way. Donating a life insurance policy to Insuring A Better World Fund for the benefit of your favorite charity can help ensure a better world for us all. If not now, when?


Did you know that $250 million of senior owned life insurance lapses each year? So, during every 9-inning major league baseball game with an average time of 2 ½ hours, $71,350.00 of life insurance will lapse without paying a death benefit to anyone.  Well it’s time for your charity and its donor pool to PLAY BALL in the $21 trillion life insurance asset class.  You can hit a grand slam for your charity and your potential donors by repurposing unwanted life insurance for the benefit of charities that support causes that cure disease, educate the underserved, help veterans in need of medical and financial assistance, support religious institutions, protect the environment and so much more.  

What can you do to benefit your charitable organization and help your donors achieve their philanthropic ideals?  First, you head out to the pitcher’s mound to talk with your donor and find out if they have a life insurance policy they no longer need, want or can afford?  

Next, you make the PITCH: “Mr. or Ms. Donor did you know that you can use that life insurance policy to benefit your favorite charitable cause, and potentially get a significant income tax deduction?”

There are many ways for a donor to support their favorite charity.  One of the best ways is for the donor to donate their life insurance policy to Insuring A Better World Fund which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that accepts charitable donations of life insurance for the benefit of other charities.  The vast majority of charities are either unaware of the potential benefits of donations of life insurance, or don’t have the staff or expertise to either solicit those donations or administer the policies once they are donated.  That’s where Insuring A Better World Fund comes out of the bullpen and takes the mound in RELIEF.

Insuring A Better World Fund’s founders have well over 75 years of combined experience in the life insurance industry. It occurred to them that lapsing life insurance policies are valuable assets that shouldn’t go to waste, but instead could be used to support a huge number of worthy charitable causes.  Insuring A Better World Fund accepts donations of life insurance policies from seniors who are the donors of the policies.  Those donors select a charity of their choice that they want to receive the death benefits.  Insuring A Better World Fund pools the donated policy with other donated policies and pays all of the premium and other costs to keep the policies in force until they mature.  

Once there is a sufficient amount of policies that have matured, Insuring A Better World Fund distributes the net death benefit proceeds to all the charities in the pool (called a vintage) on a pro-rata basis.  This means that each individual charity that had a donor select it as the charity of their choice no longer has to wait for their own donor to pass away.  Instead, the charity will receive its pro rata share of distributions from the time the first distribution is made until the last distribution is made from the vintage.

Life insurance can also be donated simply by naming the charity as the beneficiary of the policy.  The problem with a beneficiary designation is there is no way to ensure that the donor or the charity will make all the premium payments needed to keep the policy in force through maturity.  If the policy lapses, the charity gets nothing. If your charity already has a portfolio of life insurance policies, we can evaluate them to see if they are eligible for donation to Insuring A Better World Fund, and if so, Insuring A Better World Fund will take over the obligation to pay the premium and administer the policies.  

In honor of the start of the 2024 baseball season, Insuring A Better World Fund is not going to keep its bat on its shoulder in hopes for a walk.  Instead, we are going to swing for the fences by making a charitable donation of our own to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.

MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) is a joint initiative by Major League Baseball and the Players Association to support efforts that focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally. From local-based programs to the Hank Aaron Invitational and HBCU Swingman Classic, the foundation helps make youth baseball and softball more accessible – creating economic opportunities, strengthening communities, and building character – on and off the field.  Website: www.baseballydf.com

If you want to learn more about donations of life insurance or have policies that you want Insuring A Better World Fund to evaluate, please contact us at (312) 819-0790; or ds@iabwf.org.

A Guide for Charities with Life Insurance Donations

Insuring A Better World Fund strives to empower charities with valuable opportunities to enhance their impact. Today, we address a unique and often overlooked avenue for charitable giving—life insurance policies. Inspired by the insightful article from our President David Simon published on ThinkAdvisor titled “10 Top Ways to Use Life Insurance in Charitable Giving”, we explore how charities can effectively manage life insurance donations to maximize their benefits.

Life insurance policies can serve as a powerful tool for charitable giving, allowing organizations to receive substantial contributions that may otherwise go untapped. The ThinkAdvisor article outlines various strategies, from designating the charity as a beneficiary to gifting a policy outright. However, once these policies are accepted, it’s essential for charities to have a clear plan in place to maximize these assets for their mission.

Key Steps for Charities:

      1. Conduct a Policy Review: Begin by thoroughly reviewing the terms and conditions of each life insurance policy received. Understanding the specifics, such as the face value, premiums, and any potential riders, is crucial for effective planning. Insuring A Better World Fund’s leadership are experts in this step. Reach out to us with any questions. 
      2. Assess Financial Implications: Evaluate the financial implications of maintaining the policies. Charities should consider factors such as ongoing premium payments, potential tax implications, and the overall impact on their financial stability. Don’t just file the annual statements. Illustrations projecting policy performance are a must. These projections are readily obtained from the insurance company. Again don’t hesitate to reach out to Insuring A Better World Fund for help. Let us use our 100+ years of combined experience to assist you. 
      3. Engage with Donors or Donor Families: Establish open communication with the donors or their families to express gratitude, understand their intent, and gather any additional information, such as general health changes of the insured that may be pertinent to the management of the policies.
      4. Explore Policy Options: Depending on the charity’s goals and financial circumstances, explore various options for utilizing the life insurance policies. This could include holding onto the policies, surrendering them for cash value, or donating them to Insuring A Better World Fund where we take care of all the administration and premium payments. 
      5. Consult with Financial and Legal Professionals: Seek advice from financial and legal professionals with expertise in charitable giving and insurance matters. These experts can provide valuable insights and help charities make informed decisions aligned with their mission and financial objectives. Insuring A Better World Fund’s leadership years of experience and expertise in the utilization of life insurance for charitable giving. Call us at 312.819.0790 or email ds@iabwf.org with questions on policies you may have. 
      6. Communicate Transparently: Maintain transparency with donors and beneficiaries, about the charity’s decision-making process and the intended use of life insurance proceeds.
      7. Update Policies as Necessary: If the charity decides to maintain the policies, ensure they are up-to-date. This may involve updating beneficiary designations or adjusting coverage to align with the donors premium tolerance.
      8. Integrate Policies into Fundraising Efforts: Consider incorporating the life insurance policies into fundraising campaigns or initiatives, showcasing how these unique assets contribute to the charity’s long-term sustainability and impact.
      9. Educate Staff and Volunteers: Provide training to staff and volunteers on the options of donating life insurance ensuring everyone involved understands the potential benefits associated with these assets. Again Insuring A Better World Fund is here to help. 

Life insurance donations can be a transformative resource for charities, offering a sustainable stream of support for their missions. Life insurance is a $21+ TRILLION asset class. Nearly 90% of life insurance policies lapse without paying a death benefit. Last year alone over 265,000 seniors lapsed approximately $200 BILLION of life insurance. How much of that waste did you transform into gifts for your charity? By following these key steps and leveraging the insights from the ThinkAdvisor article, charities can navigate the complexities of managing life insurance policies effectively and ultimately enhance their capacity to make a lasting impact on the communities they serve. If your charity doesn’t have a life insurance expert…GET ONE. Insuring A Better World Fund may be your life insurance expert. There are valuable life insurance policies lapsing every day. If not now, when?

The National Charitable Gift Planners 2023 Conference Recap

Insuring A Better World Fund thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting and participating at the national CGP conference hosted in our hometown of Chicago. I am glad to see our presence left a lasting impression on attendees and showcased our commitment to bringing life insurance as a form of philanthropy.

The National Charitable Gift Planners 2023 Conference brought together thought leaders, professionals, and organizations dedicated to advancing charitable gift planning. The conference served as a platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and fostering collaborations in the realm of philanthropy. Unfortunately for the last decade plus, there again were no breakout sessions discussing noncash gifts of life insurance. 

Our booth at the conference was a hub of activity, attracting attendees with an inviting display and engaging materials. Visitors had the opportunity to learn about our mission, initiatives, and the impact we are making in creating a better world through innovative philanthropic strategies.

To make our presence memorable, Insuring A Better World Fund distributed signed cookbooks, “Listen to Your Vegetables” complemented by artisanal parmesan and 18 year old balsamic vinegar. This thoughtful and unique giveaway not only showcased our commitment to making a positive impact but also left a delightful taste in the mouths of conference attendees.

Our team engaged in meaningful conversations with conference participants, discussing the importance of life insurance in philanthropy and the many opportunities for this 21+ TRILLION dollar asset class to make a difference in charitable giving. The interactive nature of our booth facilitated connections with like-minded individuals, fostering potential partnerships and collaborations.

Let’s Stay Connected: We encourage you to explore our website for additional details and ways to get your charity involved. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like more information about how to get life insurance included in your noncash donation program. Last year over 150 BILLION dollars of life insurance policies were lapsed by over 265,000 seniors. WE MUST WORK TO CHANGE THIS WASTE INTO PHILANTHROPY!

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to making the world a better place for all of us.

Barbie’s Legacy is Cemented; But is Your Client’s?

Cue the scene of all the Barbies having the best day ever in Barbie Land when [record scratch] Barbie brings up “do you guys ever think about death?”.  This shocks all the other Barbies.  It may be uncomfortable, but this conversation needs to happen, and it is your obligation to make sure you understand your client’s legacy aspirations. 

Over 60 years after Barbie was born by creator Ruth Handler, Barbie’s legacy is cemented not just in her dolls and movies, but now a permanent structure in the soon to be open theme park in Glendale, AZ. Everyone leaves a legacy, the ethics and values you want remembered after your passing. This is your opportunity to help cement your client’s legacy and make a lasting impact on a cause your client is passionate about. 

Clients often do not know the potential of their unneeded life insurance policy to fulfill their philanthropic ideals. It is vital for us in the financial service profession to inform policy holders of their options. These options include a life settlement, or a new, no-cost option to donate unneeded life insurance policies to charities of the donors choosing through Insuring A Better World Fund. Every policy owner is unique and will make decisions based on their own situation. We have to equip them with the knowledge to make the best decision. 

Starting the conversation with your client about their life insurance policy options can be difficult. Death is not an easy topic. That is why you shouldn’t lead with death. Studies like that of Dr. Russell James of Texas Tech University prove you can discuss life insurance by leading with the permanence of your client’s legacy, their ethics and values and examples of people in similar circumstances who have taken advantage of the various life insurance strategies. 

The way we approach conversations about life insurance is very important. It’s not just about conveying information; it’s about evoking emotions, sparking inspiration, and fostering a deep sense of care for clients and potential donors. Utilizing positive and action-oriented language with clients can empower them to make a difference. 

Over 80% of adults 66+ years old don’t know there is an alternative to lapsing their unneeded life insurance. Each year, more than 250,000 seniors lapse over $100 billion of life insurance when the owners stop paying premiums. Together, we can repurpose this waste to ensure a better world for us all. 

It’s their life insurance. It’s their legacy. They need your help. 

Creating a Legacy of Love: A Philanthropic Journey with Life Insurance

Introduction: “To sell or not to sell that is the question.” This famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a timeless contemplation of life’s uncertainties. Life is a tapestry of choices and opportunities, and for Mr. O, a successful small business owner, it was a question of what to do with his life insurance policies. As the years passed and circumstances evolved, he found himself at a crossroads, faced with an array of options that would shape his legacy and impact future generations. Join us on a captivating journey of philanthropy and inspiration as we delve into the heartwarming story of Mr. O’s decision.

Chapter 1: Building a Life of Generosity From a young age, Mr. O’s life was marked by acts of generosity and compassion. As a regular contributor to his church and a leader within his community, he had always sought ways to make a positive difference. Little did he know that his life insurance policies, purchased years ago, would become a key instrument in fulfilling his philanthropic dreams.

Chapter 2: A Transformative Moment – The Pandemic In 2020, a global pandemic swept across the world, changing lives in unforeseen ways. For Mr. O, this period became a turning point in his life. As he decided to sell his business, he faced a crucial decision regarding his life insurance policies, which were originally meant for business planning, potential estate taxes, and family security.

Chapter 3: The Options Unfolded – With the help of trusted advisors and careful consideration, Mr. O explored his options. He could have allowed the policies to lapse, saving the annual premium cost for himself but also leaving behind a valuable asset that could benefit others. Alternatively, he could have continued paying premiums, redirecting the proceeds to his family or a chosen charity, but this option didn’t resonate with him.

Chapter 4: A Glimmer of Hope – Then came the discovery of the life settlement market. Mr. O learned that he could sell his policies and reap the proceeds for himself. This route offered a better alternative than letting the policies lapse, and he decided to take advantage of this opportunity for one of his policies.

Chapter 5: Creating a Lasting Legacy – Mr. O’s story doesn’t end there. In his search for a meaningful way to give back, he stumbled upon Insuring A Better World Fund, a nonprofit that accepts life insurance policies as donations. By donating one of his policies to this worthy cause, he could support the ultimate charity of his choice and make a lasting impact on his community. This organization allows donors to choose the ultimate charity to receive the net death benefits, and they cover all premium and other costs associated with the donated policy. This seemed like a perfect solution for Mr. O’s philanthropic ideals without the burden of premium payments.

Chapter 6: The Fruits of Generosity – The results of Mr. O’s decisions were beyond his expectations. By selling one policy, he received a significant sum of money that he could use to secure his future. And by donating another policy to Insuring A Better World Fund, he unlocked the power of philanthropy, receiving a charitable income tax deduction and benefiting his church.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Love – Mr. O’s journey of philanthropy is a testament to the power of giving back. Through thoughtful decision-making and a heart full of compassion, he secured a bright future for himself and left behind a legacy of love and generosity. The lesson we can learn from his story is that life insurance policies can serve as powerful tools for both financial security and philanthropy. 

“To sell or not to sell? That is the question? No, the question is “What is the best use of your life insurance policy for you?”. If you want to use your life insurance policy to fulfill your philanthropic ideals, then Insuring A Better World Fund may be your answer. Together, we can ensure a better world for us all.

The Perfect Blend: A Wise Exit Strategy for a Life Insurance Policy

Introduction: Life is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns. For Mr. A, a successful financial planner, life had taken him on a path he never anticipated. He had purchased a life insurance policy two decades ago, intending to safeguard his loved ones in case of an untimely event. Little did he know that his noble intentions would lead him to a moment of profound generosity and gratitude, shaping the future in a way he never imagined.

The Policy Predicament: As time passed, the insurance landscape changed drastically. The prolonged low-interest rate environment led to a sharp decline in crediting rates across all life insurance carriers. Unfortunately, Mr. A received an unwelcome surprise: a pending lapse notice from the life insurance company. To maintain his policy’s coverage, he was now required to pay three times the original premium at age 70. A daunting prospect, especially for someone who had recently retired and sought to conserve income.

The Common Path: When faced with such a situation, many individuals opt to let the policy lapse. It is the most common decision, and understandably so, as the burden of increased premiums can seem overwhelming. According to statistics, a staggering 88% of life insurance policies sold in the United States end up lapsing without ever paying a death benefit.

Insuring A Better World Fund:

Mr. A didn’t settle for the common path; he chose the extraordinary one. He discovered the Insuring A Better World Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity that offered a remarkable alternative. By donating his policy to the fund, Mr. A could stop the $16,000 a year premium payments without forsaking the $1 million life insurance policy death benefit.

The Perfect Blend: Mr. A opted for the perfect blend. By donating his policy to “Insuring A Better World Fund”, he secured several benefits:

    • No Cost: The donation to the charity comes at no cost to Mr. A or the chosen charity.
    • Charitable Tax Deduction: Mr. A received a charitable tax deduction for the policy’s valuation, which amounted to approximately $150,000.
    • Legacy Gift: His alma mater received prorated distributions from the Fund, turning the lapsing life insurance policy into a legacy-sized gift.
    • Continued Annual Giving: With the $16,000 savings on life insurance premiums, Mr. A now makes annual donations of $5,000 to his alma mater, generating additional charitable income tax deductions.


Conclusion: Mr. A’s decision to donate his life insurance policy proved to be the perfect blend of generosity and foresight. Not only did he fulfill his pledge to his alma mater while alive, but he also ensured that a charitable cause dear to him would benefit from his legacy. The lesson learned from Mr. A’s story is that with thoughtful planning, a blend of options can lead to a win-win situation for all parties involved. Consider exploring creative ways to make a positive impact while safeguarding your financial future—a perfect blend of gift and gratitude.

Don’t Let Your Charity’s Disabilities Define Your Abilities

By David Simon, Co-founder and President of Insuring A Better World Fund


Born in Alabama in June of 1880, Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing at 19 months old. She lived a full life of nearly 80 years as an author, lecturer, political activist, and most importantly, a disability rights activist who impacted the lives of many. She attended Harvard (Radcliffe) and was one of Time Magazine’s Hundred Most Important People of the 20th century.

Helen Keller never let her disabilities define her abilities.

Unfortunately, many charitable organizations, too often let their disabilities define their abilities. Many charities lack the staff, expertise or critical knowledge to accept a variety of noncash gifts. They use this excuse and fail to “meet their donors where they are” and serve the charitable mission they were designed to support. This deprives the most needy, when the resources of the charitable organization are underfunded. Additionally, there are many charitable consultants who fail to aid these charities in finding alternative methods to accept noncash gifts that could bolster the economic impact of the charity.

Professor Russell James of Texas Tech University performed a study of over one million nonprofit tax returns (IRS form 990) for the tax years 2010-2015 and part of 2016 with statistical analysis of the 761,876 forms from 205,696 nonprofit organizations reporting positive contributions. Professor James concluded, in part, that nonprofits raising over $1 Million in 2010 that reported only cash gifts for the period between 2010 and 2015 experienced an average total growth in contributions of 11% over these five years, barely keeping up with total inflation of 8%. In contrast, those reporting any noncash gifts for the period between 2010 and 2015 grew their total contributions, on average, 50% over the same 5-year period. Cash is Not King in Fundraising: Results from 1 Million Nonprofit Tax Returns, Professor Russell James III, JD, PhD, CFP Director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Financial Planning, Texas Tech University.   

Yet there are third parties that are able to work with charitable organizations to overcome the disabilities inside of the organization to facilitate the noncash gifts their donors could make to fulfill their philanthropic ideals and promote the charity’s mission. One of the most prestigious of these third-parties is Bryan Clontz’s Charitable Solutions, LLC. Mr. Clontz is a frequent speaker nationally at charitable gift planning events. In 2021, Charitable Solutions, LLC facilitated noncash gifts that were declined by the referring charity totaling $1,177,317,142.00, a remarkable achievement and impact for the philanthropic world. Yet for all the wonderful achievements this offered the charities that work with his organization, that same year there were only 0-4 gifts of life insurance that Charitable Solutions, LLC facilitated.

According to the 2022 ACLI Fact Book, life insurance is a 21+ trillion-dollar asset class. Approximately 88% of life insurance policies lapse without paying a death benefit. It is estimated that over 265,000 seniors lapse over $150 billion of death benefit each year and this trend promises to continue for years to come. This enormous asset class is the MOST UNDERUTILIZED SOURCE FOR PHILANTHROPIC GIVING in large part because of charities’ inability to accept the offered gifts of life insurance.

There are many excuses charities use to deny their donors the ability to fulfill their philanthropic ideals with the gift of life insurance. They include: (1) Charities lack the expertise; (2) Charities’ inability to administer the policies; (3) Charities lack the staff to act as a conduit for premium payments on the life insurance policies being offered; (4) Charities choose not to work with third parties; and (5) Charities choose not to pay premiums for donated life insurance policies.

In fact, the National Conference of Charitable Gift Planners held last year in Reno unfortunately did not have a session on gifts of life insurance. More importantly they have not had a breakout session in the past 10 years on gifts of life insurance, thereby depriving their membership of the opportunity to reach over 2 1/2 million senior policy holders who lapsed their policies totaling over $1.5 trillion of potential death benefit gifts to charity.

Despite protestations to the contrary, most charitable organizations do work with third parties in a variety of ways. Accountants, lawyers, investment advisors, and the like all perform necessary functions for the charity to sustain itself, remain properly licensed, file their annual tax reports and manage their investments. Further, many charities use third party consultants to help with campaigns, marketing and various fundraising efforts.

There are thousands of financial planners/life insurance agents, who have the expertise, knowledge and experience to help charities administer and accept noncash gifts of life insurance. There is a 501(c)(3) charity that will perform all functions for the acceptance of a noncash gift of life insurance, including paying the premiums, managing the policy to maximize its value for the benefit of the referring charity, administering the policy premiums and collecting and distributing the net death benefits to the referring charity.

Life insurance like all insurance works on the law of large numbers. It is prudent for a charity not to pay premiums for an individual life insurance policy or even a small number of policies. Depending on the age of the insureds a charity would have to aggregate hundreds if not thousands of life insurance policies to achieve actuarial credibility. This is an impossible task for an individual charity to accomplish. However, this can be accomplished by aggregating life insurance policies from several charities into a single portfolio of policies, analogous to a life settlement fund.

In short, there is no excuse left for charitable organizations to fail to accept noncash gifts of life insurance and access this $21+ trillion asset class for the benefit of the people they serve and the donors who support their organizations.

A suggested policy for noncash gifts of life insurance policies in its simplest terms would be:

“We make every effort to meet the donor where they are and accept noncash gifts of life insurance. For smaller gifts of policies, death benefit of $100,000 or less, we accept only paid-up policies under the guaranteed assumptions of the policy or those policies with cash value exceeding $1000. If the policy is not paid up we will cash in the policy for its cash value upon receipt of the donation. For gifts of larger policies, those with a death benefit exceeding $100,000, we accept paid up policies, policies with cash value, policies where the donor agrees under an advance agreement to pay the premiums and existing policies with value as determined by us (if the charity has expertise and administrative staff to service the policy) or a third party with the expertise and servicing capabilities. We can also accept existing policies with value through a third party charity where the donor and our charity will NOT pay the premium or service the policy.”

Helen Keller in a speech to the Massachusetts Association in 1927, stated “He who is content with what has been done, is an obstacle in the path of progress.” I urge all charities to overcome their disabilities and meet their donors where they are and serve their mission with noncash gifts of life insurance. Let Helen Keller serve as a shining example of what can be achieved despite obstacles in our path. Together we can ensure a better world for us all.

Philanthropic use of Life Insurance: Winning The Triple Crown

Mage just won the Kentucky Derby on May 6th. This is a huge win for the horse, the trainer and the owners. However, this is just the first leg of the Triple Crown. Saturday is the Preakness followed by the last leg, the Belmont Stakes, on June 10th .  Although Mage is entered in the Preakness, it remains to be seen who will win and whether or not Mage will even enter the Belmont Stakes. Winning the Triple Crown is very rare and has happened only thirteen times in over 100 years of horse racing.

Often times in negotiations and legal settlements the parties try to achieve win-win solutions. This allows both parties to feel good and claim victory. Although this can be achieved more often than not, one side feels like the winner and one side experiences disappointment.

Philanthropic use of life insurance is the triple crown of philanthropic planned giving. Now donors can win by helping their favorite charity win big with a legacy sized gift of life insurance. The Financial Advisor and Planned Giving Advisor win too with the charitable gift of life insurance.

The primary purpose of life insurance is to provide a safety net for those who depend on you financially. The death benefit that is paid to your beneficiaries can help them cover daily expenses, future costs, such as college tuition or mortgages and provide liquidity at death for business needs, taxes or income replacement. What if your children are grown, your business is sold, your estate planning is complete, and you have more life insurance than you need?  This results in unneeded life insurance that can now be transformed into a legacy-size donation to a favorite charity.

“Life insurance often provides a death benefit several times larger than the premium paid, which is why it is a great way to boost your charitable giving.” says Robert Stuchiner, Co-founder of Insuring A Better World Fund, and a life insurance professional with 45 years of experience.

There is over $20 TRILLION of life insurance in force in the United States and roughly 88% of these policies will lapse without paying a death benefit. Over 250,000 seniors lapse their life insurance policy each year. More than $150 billion of senior-owned life insurance is wasted annually when the owners stop paying premiums. Despite its enormous size and opportunity, life insurance is the most under utilized asset class for charitable giving.

According to a study by Dr. Russell James, Professor at Texas Tech University, charities that accept noncash donations achieved far more robust growth than other charities. Specifically, Dr. James studied the data of one million nonprofit tax returns from 2010-2015. Over a five-year period, the total growth in fundraising contributions was 11% for organizations that only received cash gifts compared to 50% growth for those that received noncash gifts in addition to cash gifts, and 66% growth for charities that received securities as part of their noncash gifts. Note this study was conducted during a time period of continued asset growth in bonds, stocks, real estate, and more. Today is a different world with declining markets, inflation and donor’s concerns about outliving their assets. Noncash gifts are more important than ever.

Insuring a Better World Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, helps donors transform this wasted life insurance to better the world. Donors choose. Insuring A Better World Fund pays. Charities receive. Donors can make legacy-sized gifts to their favorite charity with a simple, no-cost solution.

The Triple Win

The Charity Wins: Receive a Legacy-Sized gift with additional benefits.

Save time, money and resources! Insuring A Better World Fund can do it all for charities. The donation process is easy to explain and simple to execute with donors. Insuring A Better World Fund pays all costs, administers the policies and expertly manages the life insurance gift to maximize its value for charity. There is no need for a charity to augment their staff. Insuring A Better World Fund draws from its extensive network of financial professionals, the charities own donor pool and other referral sources to identify and secure donations.

Maximize value! Insuring A Better World Fund’s management team utilizes their decades of experience to underwrite and evaluate policies to determine which policies are appropriate for donation. Donors who make legacy gifts are much more likely to continue to make annual gifts too. The added opportunity to receive a blended gift from the donor’s life insurance premium savings is a compelling proposition for the donor. Donations of life insurance strengthen relationships with financial professionals to secure more gifts and donors. Charities may elect to have Insuring A Better World Fund review their existing life insurance policy portfolio to rescue lapsing policies and maximize the value of the portfolio.

Something new to engage donors! Does marketing a no-cost ask sound easy? It is. This is a no-cost ask of donors with legacy-sized potential. There is no change to human behavior because these life insurance policies would otherwise lapse. Insuring A Better World Fund equips charities with the right tools to easily get donors started on the process.

The Donor Wins:

Eliminate life insurance premiums! Cash flow improves immediately. Once a policy is donated to Insuring A Better World Fund, donors are not responsible for premium payments or any other cost of the policy. Donors may also be entitled to a sizable charitable tax deduction at the time of the gift for the full value of the policy. *

Giving while living! There is no better way to celebrate outliving the need for life insurance than to benefit a favorite charity. Insurance works on the law of large numbers. A single charity cannot aggregate enough life insurance policies to achieve actuarial credibility. Insuring A Better World Fund aggregates policies from all charities into distinct large portfolios of policies. Funds are distributed from this large portfolio of policies on a pro rata basis, allowing for distributions to charities while the donor is alive. The charity the donor chooses is able to recognize the gift upon donation.

Leaving a Legacy! Everyone leaves a legacy, the values the donor wants remembered and carried on after their passing. This is an opportunity to make a lasting impact by supporting a charity working on a cause that fulfills that legacy. The best part is neither the donor nor the donor’s chosen charity pays a dime.

The Financial Advisor and Planned Giving Professional Wins:

Value to the client! Offering a charitable alternative to lapsing a policy is a new and no-cost conversation to have with clients and transforms an unsatisfied client into a delighted donor. The client may also be entitled to a charitable tax deduction based on their policy’s full fair-market value. *

Income! Policies that are donated earn continued renewal commissions. Financial advisors are able to earn first year term conversion commissions. Working alongside donors and boards of the charities that benefit from the good work of securing these donations is a great source of new business.

Job Satisfaction: Research proves that doing well while doing good increases job satisfaction and one’s sense of self-worth. Financial professionals that work with Insuring A Better World Fund will have a lasting impact on charities and therefore the world. Financial professionals feel good about this philanthropic work.

In addition, the financial professional gains valuable prestige and influence in the industry that helps build their business. Think of the leaders of the life insurance industry. Look at the leadership at Finseca. Think of the leaders of any industry. All are admired and celebrated for their philanthropic acts. Be involved. This is the life insurance charity for life insurance professionals. Let’s do the industry proud!

The planned giving professional meets the donor where they are. With over 250,000 seniors lapsing their policy every year, the opportunity for the planned giving professional to satisfy their donors’ intent increases exponentially. Now it’s easy to have this no cost ask lead to more conversations, visits and donations. It’s easy to build good will with the donor base by allowing them to turn waste into a legacy sized gift recognized by the charity.

Here is a link to a list of some of the many charities who have benefitted from a gift of life insurance to Insuring A Better World Fund: https://www.iabwf.org/our-mission-in-action/

We’re at the post. Riders up. We can all win the triple crown together. It is only with your participation that we will all be successful in ensuring a better world for us all.