American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®


Guest Column

How giving to the ACP­ASIM Foundation can help your patients—and your finances

From the December 1999 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1999 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Editor's note: Robert B. Copeland, MACP, Chair of the ACP­ASIM Foundation's Board of Trustees, writes this month for CollegeWatch. The President's Column will return next month.

As the ACP­ASIM Foundation prepares to enter its second year, we are looking for support from College members to meet our goals.

The Foundation was created with a clear mission: to improve the health of the public by funding programs in education, research and service. While many other medical society foundations tend to fund programs and initiatives that help their members, the ACP­ASIM Foundation aims to focus not just on internists, but the care and health of their patients.

When I talk to College members about the Foundation, what excites them most is the idea that we are tackling initiatives with broad social implications. The Foundation is funding not only projects that originate from within ACP­ASIM, but initiatives from individuals and organizations outside of the College that address a wide range of public health issues. (For a list of Foundation projects to date, see "The Foundation's first five initiatives," this page.)

To meet our broad goals, the Foundation has been busy creating and staffing a number of committees with College members and nonphysicians. One third of our board members come from outside of the College, which allows the Foundation to tap into a large pool of outside expertise on foundation-related issues.

Help from members

It is important to note that while the Foundation exists to support the College's mission, it operates as a separate entity. As a result, it must also generate much of its own funding.

Because federal tax rules prohibit the College from funding more than one-third of the Foundation's budget, we are looking to a variety of sources for funding, including industry and other foundations. We hope that a major source of the Foundation's future funding, however, will come from the College membership.

One way that members can support the Foundation and help themselves at the same time is through annual giving. Here's one way it can work: Say that stock you purchased at $19 a share is now worth $89 a share. You'd like to cash some of it in, but you want to avoid paying the huge capital gains tax that will result. If you donate part or all of that stock to the Foundation, you can write off the face value of the stock—$89 a share—for the tax year. In essence, you get a double tax break: once for giving the stock to the Foundation, and once because you've avoided paying capital gains taxes on the stock's growth.

Members can also support the Foundation in a more long-term way with a charitable gift annuity. By creating a charitable gift annuity, you give money or some form of property to the Foundation. In exchange, you receive guaranteed income for life.

Under a current gift annuity, you give money or property to the Foundation and immediately begin receiving income. A large portion of the gift is tax-deductible, and part of the income you receive from the Foundation is not taxed. In addition, the amount of the gift is removed from your estate, possibly helping your tax situation.

Under a deferred gift annuity, you give money or property to the Foundation, but you don't immediately begin receiving income. Instead, you select a date when you want to begin receiving income—five years in the future, for example.

A deferred annuity offers several advantages over a current annuity. First, the longer you defer income, the greater that income will be. In addition, you will be able to write off a larger amount of your gift with a deferred annuity than with a current annuity.

Sources of information

To help College members make the most of their financial gifts, the Foundation is working with the New York trust company, Neuberger Berman, to help identify other ways that College members can give that best help the College and themselves.

The Foundation is also planning to hire a director of planned giving to help members get involved in supporting the Foundation. Members who are interested in giving to the Foundation should also work with their accountants and lawyers to identify the most effective ways they can use their money to help the Foundation and themselves.

If you are interested in giving to the Foundation, please contact Jean Krause, the Foundation's Executive Vice President, at 877-208-4189. We hope you can help the Foundation grow and continue its important work.

—Robert B. Copeland, MACP

A look at the Foundation's first
five initiatives

To date, the ACP­ASIM Foundation has funded the following five initiatives:

  • MKSAP for medical students. A version of MKSAP from the "Core Medicine Clerkship Curriculum Guide" using case-based questions for medical students in third-year internal medicine clerkships. A partnership project of the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine and the College.
  • Board review course for midcareer practicing physicians. A six-month course that accommodates the busy practice schedule of physicians who are not board certified. A partnership project of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the College and the National Medical Association.
  • Universal access. A study conducted by the Institute for Health Services Research Policy Studies at Northwestern University of the financial implications of implementing universal health care coverage for all residents in the state. A project of the Illinois Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care.
  • Multiple small feedings of the mind. A project that will allow internists to access these 12 educational programs in English and Spanish. A project of the College's Virginia Chapter and the College.
  • Medical professionalism. A project to raise awareness about professionalism within internal medicine in the United States and Europe through monographs, position papers and other strategies. A partnership project of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the European Federation of Internal Medicine and the College.

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