One of the easiest and most common ways for you to support Northwestern is with a gift of cash. Cash can be used to support the University in the form of:

An outright gift. By making a cash gift by check, credit card, or money order today, you enable Northwestern to meet the University’s most urgent needs on a daily basis. You will have the opportunity to see your generosity in action and will also receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction if you itemize.

A payable on death (POD) account. A POD bank account or certificate of deposit names one or more persons or charities as the beneficiary of all funds once you, the account owner, pass away. The beneficiary you name has no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until that time, you remain in control and are free to use the money in the bank account, change the beneficiary, or close the account.

A gift in your will or living trust. Through a gift in your will or living trust, you can support Northwestern with a specific amount of money or a percentage of your total estate. This type of gift allows you the flexibility to change your mind at anytime and your estate will benefit from a federal estate tax charitable deduction for the amount of the gift.

A charitable gift annuity. Cash can be used to fund a charitable gift annuity. This arrangement provides you and/or a loved one with fixed payments for life. Payments may begin as early as age 60.

A charitable remainder trust. Cash is the easiest and least complicated way to fund a charitable remainder trust. It can provide the necessary liquidity to provide for payments to the income beneficiary when the trust is funded with hard to sell assets.

A charitable lead trust. You may always use cash to fund a lead trust. Lead trusts are funded with cash in addition to stock or real estate.

A donor-advised fund. A gift of cash through check or credit card is one of the easiest ways to contribute to a donor-advised fund. Your federal income tax charitable deduction is equal to the amount of your cash contribution.

Memorial and tribute gifts. If you have a friend or family member whose life has been touched by Northwestern, consider making a gift to the University in his or her name.

An endowed gift. Create an endowment or contribute to one that is already established to ensure that your support of Northwestern will last forever.

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Next Steps

  1. Contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or giftplanning@northwestern.edu for additional information on giving a gift of cash.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor. 
  3. If you include 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

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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 give to Northwestern, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 633 Clark Street, Evanston, Illinois 60208, or its successor thereto, ______________* [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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