Rebel With a Cause

Originator of Corporate Wellness Identifies Strategies for Maximum-Impact Giving

By Lynn McDowell, JD, Planned Giving Officer

Don HallAs a 12-year old muscular dystrophy patient defying his doctor's orders to eat meat, Don Hall, Doctor of Public Health in Preventive Medicine, showed early signs of seeing beyond common practice. With an eye for important but overlooked connections, Don would soon make a positive impact on the health of millions through WellSource, his ground-breaking computerized health analysis program. By 1983, he was in TIME Magazine.

Attracting early corporate clients like Nike and Aramco, WellSource had its best year ever in 2016, and Don turned his discerning eye to philanthropy. He wanted to make sure that the positive impact of his career and life-long passion — sharing the "secrets" of wellness — would continue for generations to come.

"I suppose it's the rebel in me that wants to teach people how to take care of themselves rather than focusing on illness," Don says.

Keeping up with the latest health research, writing, and presenting seminars and workshops on wellness fill his semi-retirement while WellSource, with 35 full-time employees, "runs itself." With the goal of "giving back," Don began to investigate planned giving — a little-understood specialization of tax and charitable gift planning.

Planned giving philanthropy is the kind of niche that Don has always felt good in — emerging but built on solid research, and potentially very powerful. The combination of expertise in the university's Office of Planned Giving and the Adventist Health Study at the School of Public Health from which he graduated was, in Don's estimation, the perfect pairing. The study was already making waves: "Blue Zones" research pin-pointed Loma Linda as one of 13 areas around the world where people were living exceptionally long and healthy lives — the only community in North America to meet Blue Zone criteria.

Once Don and his wife, Trish, decided on the legacy of an endowed chair — the Don and Trish Hall Research Professorship, which oversees the Adventist Health Study — they looked at the best way to fund it. In consultation with Loma Linda University Health's Office of Planned Giving, the Halls settled on a couple of strategies: an annual IRA rollover gift and gifts of stock.

Why an IRA Rollover?

An annual gift from his IRA really appeals to the "supersaver" side of Don's personality. Don finds this the most efficient way to finance his Vision 2020 cash pledge.

"It's much more economical to roll IRAs over to the school than to pay the tax. It's a big tax advantage to be able to work through the organization," he says, because he's contributing before tax dollars. His alma mater gets 100 percent of the draw paid by the IRA's custodian at Don's direction, and no tax is triggered.

Why Use Shares?

Gifts of shares provide several benefits. These include completely avoiding capital gains tax on appreciation when the stock itself is gifted ("in kind") to a charity. A tax receipt is issued for the full present value of the stock. This can be used to offset other income and further reduce taxes. The key is to transfer the shares. Typically, the charity will immediately sell the stock and receive more than if the donor had sold the stock and given what was left after tax.

"Education is the best thing you can give a person," Don says. He's never stopped learning, and his decision to investigate — and use — planned giving is already making the outstanding outcomes he envisioned a reality.

See Don talk about his experience in a short video at

Visit our website for more information on these gift types and other planned giving strategies.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Loma Linda or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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