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Why We Give


Endowment Giving

An Enduring Mark

Your legacy can endure at Columbia University with the creation of an endowed fund. Such a fund continues into perpetuity, as annual distributions are made from investment earnings in order to support the activity or program you designate.

In establishing an endowed fund – in your name or in honor or in memory of a loved one – you are providing future generations the opportunity to remember and celebrate your values and generous spirit.

You can create an endowed fund during your lifetime, over a period of years or all at once. Many donors also establish their endowed funds through bequest intentions.

Funding Your Endowment

Endowed funds can be created during your lifetime with a gift of cash, property, or other assets. In addition, there are other ways to fund your endowed fund while incorporating financial and estate planning needs:

Retirement Plans
Naming your endowed fund as a remainder beneficiary of your retirement plan, such as a 401(k), IRA, or pension plan, is an easy way to make a gift. It is also a tax-wise choice because, although your estate would pay income tax on a retirement account left to your heirs, there is no tax if you give it to Columbia University.

Beneficiary Designation
You can name your endowed fund the beneficiary of bank accounts, investment accounts, or life insurance policies. At the end of your lifetime, your endowed fund receives the proceeds directly from your account.

Charitable Bequest
You can make a gift to your endowed fund through your will or trust by including a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate, leaving a particular asset — stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, artwork, or other property. Alternatively, you can name your endowed fund as a “residual beneficiary” so that it receives the remainder of your estate after all other bequests have been made.

If you have any questions about endowments or would like more information on planning your contribution, please contact:

Ryan Hart
Executive Director of Gift Planning
(212) 851-7857