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A Savvy Businesswoman Plans for the Future

Photo of Jooyun

"When you make a charitable gift, start with your most appreciated securities."

When Jooyun "Julie" Oh Ybarra ’98BUS decided to make a significant gift to Columbia Business School, she traced the idea back to a conversation with a friend and fellow Columbia graduate.

"He was telling me about his tithing, where he gives 10% of his annual income to his church," she says. "He and I are different in many ways, but I was inspired by that level of commitment. Since I'm not religious, I thought of my alma maters."

Julie approached Columbia with a specific type of gift in mind—a deferred charitable gift annuity. To understand why, it helps to know a little more about Julie.

Getting into business

Julie graduated from an all-women's college with a degree in anthropology and political philosophy. She thought she would apply to law school; but in working a series of jobs and internships, she discovered an interest and aptitude in sales and trading. She decided to pursue an M.B.A. instead and was accepted to Columbia.

"Columbia Business School was my top choice, right in the heart of the banking capital of the world," she says. "It was a stark contrast going from a very nurturing undergraduate experience to this predominantly male, hypercompetitive environment. I loved it!"

After graduation Julie went to work for IBM on its derivatives desk then made her way to IBM.com during the dot-com boom. She built a successful career there then decided to take a temporary leave to focus on her three young children. Around the same time, her mother passed away. Leaning on her Columbia education, Julie invested the modest inheritance her mother had left her—eventually tripling its value.

Flipping the script

"I may have been the only person in the world who enjoyed doing house renovations," remarks Julie. After remodeling her family home, she and her general contractor rebuilt another house in the neighborhood—then another, and another. She ended up flipping five homes, earning good money while enhancing her community and being close to her family.

It was then that she decided to make her leave from IBM permanent and devote her time to raising her children and managing her growing investments.

A thoughtfully planned gift

Julie had purchased Apple stock back when it was valued at just under $13 a share. When the share price jumped to $170, she wanted to lock in the gain. By funding a deferred charitable gift annuity with appreciated securities, she was able to realize certain tax advantages—including not having to pay long-term capital-gain tax on the appreciation.

At a future date Julie's gift annuity will begin making fixed payments to her, which will continue for life. The balance will go to support Columbia Business School, unrestricted. Deferring the payout was a way for Julie to make a sizeable gift now, reassured by the fact that she will have the annuity income to fall back on should she need it later.

Establishing a life income gift earned Julie lifetime membership in Columbia's prestigious 1754 Society. She was also recognized by the business school as a member of the Class of 1998 Reunion Leadership and Second Century Circles. In addition, she is one of the founders of the business school's Women's Circle, which highlights and celebrates philanthropic leadership by alumnae.

Julie's advice? "Given how the market has risen over the past several years, I imagine many of my peers are in a similar situation with highly appreciated securities," she says. "If nothing else, when you do make a charitable gift, start with your most appreciated securities."

Looking to provide a fixed income stream for you and/or a loved one? Please let us know. We would love to discuss ways to match your philanthropic goals with your current or future financial needs—and perhaps welcome you as a member of the 1754 Society.

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