Contributions of mineral rights and royalty checks are flowing in from landowners who are sitting on fortunes because of the gas boom.
Penn State University said it has received five to 10 gifts of royalty income or bonuses from gas drilling. West Virginia University has received about 24 donations of oil and mineral rights. And the University of Pittsburgh is weighing its first such donation.
Charitable donations of complex assets, such as collectibles, real estate, royalties and mineral rights, are not uncommon. When these assets appreciate significantly, their owners may consider donating them, not just to share the wealth and be altruistic but for tax advantages.
Researchers who track philanthropy say there are no statistics that measure gifts of mineral rights and royalties, but Michael Hoffman, a charitable planning consultant with Fidelity Charitable based in Pittsburgh, said there is growing interest from potential donors.
“Definitely, there’s a lot of discussion. We see a definite increase of inquiries in that area,” Hoffman said.