Transforming Realty to Gift Reality

Learn more about the many ways to use real estate to support Northwestern in the free guide 7 Ways to Donate Real Estate.View My Free Brochure

A gift of real estate is a generous way of supporting the University without touching your bank account. When you give the University appreciated property that you have held longer than one year, you get a federal income tax charitable deduction, and you avoid paying capital gains tax. Additionally, you no longer have to deal with that property’s maintenance costs, property taxes, or insurance.

Another benefit is that you do not have to sell the real estate. You can deed the property directly to Northwestern or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement.

Ways to Give Real Estate

You can give real estate to Northwestern in the following ways. Click the + to learn more.

An outright gift+
A gift in your will or living trust+
A retained life estate+
A deferred charitable gift annuity+
A bargain sale+
A charitable remainder unitrust+

Example of a Real Estate Gift

Janet purchased her home years ago and has watched it grow steadily in value. Still active in her career and traveling frequently, she’s beginning to find home ownership more and more of a hassle. At this stage of her life, Janet has decided to move to a condominium development, where all exterior maintenance is provided. Janet sees this as an opportunity to gift her existing house to Northwestern while realizing valuable tax benefits.

Janet qualifies for a federal income tax charitable deduction of $250,000, which is for her home’s fair market value today. She is able to claim 30 percent of her $200,000 adjusted gross income, or $60,000, in the year of the gift. In the five years following, she can continue to use up the remaining $190,000 deduction. Janet is happy in her new condo and loves knowing that the gift of her house will make a big difference supporting Northwestern.

Next Steps

  1. Contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or giftplanning@northwestern.edu to discuss the possibility of giving real estate to Northwestern.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal adviser to make sure this gift fits your goals.
  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

Learn more about the many ways to use real estate to support Northwestern in the free guide 7 Ways to Donate Real Estate.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 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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