Gifts to the Endowment and Leadership Giving

Many leadership gifts support Amherst in perpetuity through the establishment of an endowed fund, the capital support necessary for a building, or the specific donation of a major tangible asset, such as art, a musical instrument, or rare books.

Because of the complexity of these gifts, most donors have individual discussions with college gift officers about purpose, timing, impact, and gift credit. 

For more information, contact Amherst's Development Office.   

Gifts to the Endowment

The Amherst College endowment has grown steadily over time due to alumni and donor gifts, sensible investments, and careful use of yearly returns. Gift purpose can be specified by a donor to restrict its use (e.g. for scholarships or faculty salaries) but most donors understand the greatest flexibility for the College is to make their gift unrestricted.

To establish a specific endowed fund requires a minimum gift commitment of $250,000, which usually is pledged over a five-year period. These funds can be named, or not, and at the time of gift the fund purpose, its spending requirements, and investment requirements are clearly spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the donor and the College.

Gifts to the Endowment and Leadership Giving


Gifts to Facilities

Gifts and pledges can be made in support of buildings. 

These capital gifts usually are made for a specific purpose (e.g. to assist with the renovation of dorms, the athletic facility, classrooms and faculty offices, and function-specific buildings such as the music building, or the science center). However, capital gifts also can be unrestricted, enabling the college to direct the funds for the greatest need. 

There is no minimum gift amount required to support facilities, unless a donor is interested in a specific naming opportunity.


Leadership Giving

Gifts-in Kind

The College welcomes gifts of tangible property, such as art work, rare books, or musical instruments.  So as to meet Amherst's mission and need, all of these gifts must first be accepted by the College.  Once accepted, a Deed of Gift is prepared so as to officially transfer title of the property to Amherst.  For more detail, please contact the appropriate College department, or the Development Office.


Named Giving Opportunities

Gifts can be named for the donor or in honor/memory of someone else. Donors wishing a specific naming opportunity should contact the Development Office.



Donors who wish to make their endowment or capital gift over time can do so with a formal pledge.  Most pledges are for five years, but can be extended for seven in special circumstances.  

All donors who pledge elect a payment schedule, and receive yearly reminders regarding pledge balance and amount due.