Planned Giving Makes a Huge Impact: ULI Foundation Receives a Generous $750,000 Bequest

Photo courtesy of Duane Stork Photography

Longtime ULI member Charlie Ackerman’s real estate philosophy grew from a desire to create excellent quality properties that effectively served the needs of their tenants. Ackerman & Co, established in 1967, has developed more than six million square feet of office, retail, and residential projects. Its fingerprint changed the Atlanta landscape, from the first high rise office building in Buckhead to hotels and shopping centers and many projects in between.

Tom Bell, former chairman and CEO of Cousins Properties and past ULI member, said, “You think about Charlie and ULI and what a great combination that is because they’ve both been so influential in the development of the modern real estate world. And you think about Charlie and Atlanta—what a visionary.”

His creativity and insight in commercial development garnered numerous accolades for excellence. In 2009, ULI/Atlanta selected Ackerman as the recipient of its Frank Carter Community Achievement Award for his individual lifetime achievement in development. “I have the greatest respect for ULI and for Frank Carter, and to win that award is one of the greatest moments of my life,” Ackerman said. His company remains actively involved with ULI/Atlanta.

Ackerman was a strong supporter of ULI over the course of his 38-year membership from 1979 until his death in 2017. He served on several leadership and member groups and on multiple product councils and was a panelist on Advisory Services Panels for New York Governors Island and Washington, D.C. Southwest.

That strong support lives on in his legacy. Ackerman left the ULI Foundation (ULIF) a bequest of $750,000 in his will, to be used in support of the mission work of the Institute in whatever manner that would make the most impact.

While a bequest to ULIF such as Ackerman’s is the most commonly known type of planned gift, it is only one vehicle that donors can use to philanthropically support the organizations and causes that are most personally meaningful to them, and with larger gifts than they could make from budgeted income.

Far more flexible than other types of philanthropy, planned gifts allow each donor to leave a purposeful legacy in a way that fulfills his or her individual wish and intent. For example, planned gifts can use estate or tax planning to maximize gifts to ULI and minimize estate impact on heirs. They can be structured to provide lifelong income for the donor. They can involve stocks, equity, life insurance, cash, or gifts of real property. Planned gifts can be made during the donor’s lifetime or upon his or her passing.

In short, planned giving is highly adaptable, providing numerous benefits to the donor and to ULI as we partner to create and sustain thriving communities worldwide. Find out what planned giving option is best for you at

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