IRS ruling allows charitable trusts to participate with Notre Dame endowment

Author: Dennis Brown

The University of Notre Dame has received a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that permits qualified charitable remainder trusts to earn the investment return of Notre Dames endowment.

With the ruling, Notre Dame joins a handful of other schools, including Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that have received IRS permission to offer such a program.

Under the ruling, qualifying trusts would benefit from investment practices that have resulted in the Notre Dame endowments 14.6 percent annualized net rate of return over the past decade.The ruling enables significant growth potential for the trusts because the endowment is invested in a highly diversified pool of assets, including traditional stocks and bonds in domestic and foreign markets, as well as marketable alternatives, venture capital and other private equity, real estate, energy and commodities.Access to these types of investments is often limited and rarely available to smaller investors.

This is a groundbreaking development that has the potential to make an enormous impact on the Universitys ambitious goals for students, faculty and programs throughout the campus,said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dames president.As a further benefit, this option may be attractive to our benefactors from a financial planning perspective.

Through a charitable remainder trust, the donor or people designated by the donor may receive payments for life or a specified term of years. Trust assets that remainfollowing the end of the term or the death of the beneficiaries pass to Notre Dame.

More information on the endowment investment option for qualified charitable remainder trusts is available by contacting M. Jean Gorman, assistant vice president for development and executive director for individual and institutional giving at Notre Dame: or (574) 631-3070, or go on-line to

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