Continue Supporting Northwestern After Your Lifetime

Want to learn more about making tax-wise gifts? Download our free guide Beneficiary Designations: The 3 Easiest Ways to Leave Your Legacy.View My Free Brochure

If you are passionate about supporting Northwestern, even after your lifetime, a beneficiary designation is an easy, impactful gift for you to consider. You simply contact your retirement or life insurance plan administrator and request a beneficiary designation form. Then, name Northwestern as a beneficiary to receive retirement assets or life insurance proceeds after your lifetime. The form provided to you is entirely separate from your will.

Not only is it an easy way to give, but it is also flexible—you are not locked into the choices you make today. You can review and adjust beneficiary designations at any time.

Continue Change with a Gift

MarthaWhen Martha and her mother attended Northwestern, the School of Education and Social Policy was a traditional school of education focused primarily on school-based learning and teacher training. Today, it has transformed into a school with an expanded mission, innovative programs, and far-reaching impact. In gratitude for the transformative nature of both her mother’s education and her own, Martha elected to designate SESP as a beneficiary of her retirement plan

“Many Northwestern alumni are regular people like me who have worked hard throughout their lives. You don’t have to be enormously wealthy to give to the University—by naming Northwestern the beneficiary of a retirement account, you can make a significant gift,” Martha says.

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See How a Beneficiary Designation Works

Learn How to Fund It

You can name us beneficiary of the following assets:

Next Steps

  1. Contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or giftplanning@northwestern.edu for additional information on beneficiary designations and how they can help support Northwestern with our mission.
  2. Talk to your financial or legal adviser to learn which assets will or will not trigger taxable income when paid to a beneficiary.
  3. If you name Northwestern in your plans, please use Northwestern’s legal name and federal tax ID number.

Legal Name: Northwestern University
Address: 633 Clark Street, Evanston, Illinois 60208
Federal Tax ID Number: 36-2167817

Want to learn more about making tax-wise gifts? Download our free guide Beneficiary Designations: The 3 Easiest Ways to Leave Your Legacy.View My Free Brochure

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Northwestern 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Northwestern [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 Northwestern 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Northwestern as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Northwestern 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 Northwestern where you agree to make a gift to Northwestern 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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