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Types of Gifts

Outright gifts Most of the gifts to Amherst each year are outright gifts. Cash donations are the most common of these, although gifts of marketable securities are also popular because they are easy to transfer and value, and because they provide certain income tax advantages. (Gifts of closely held securities offer an alternative form of philanthropy with somewhat different tax implications.) Gifts using mutual fund shares are also possible, but because they often require an additional step or two, please contact the College prior to making such a gift. Real estate and other personal property, such as art or antiques, may also be used for gifts to Amherst. Donors may also restrict their gifts for a particular purpose. Examples include current and endowed funds for scholarships, professorships, general program support and facilities.

Outright unrestricted gifts are usually designated to the Annual Fund, which provides a crucial segment of the College’s operating budget every year. Annual Fund gifts of $1,821 or more qualify donors for membership in the 1821 Society, which recognizes giving at the leadership level. Leadership gifts of $10,000 or more qualify donors for the Noah Webster Circle.

Matching gifts Each year, hundreds of corporations match outright gifts to Amherst through employee matching gifts programs. Donors need only obtain the appropriate certification forms from their companies and send them to the College along with their gifts. Corporate matching gifts can combine with individual gifts to the Annual Fund to help donors qualify for the 1821 Society or the Noah Webster Circle.

Life Income gifts Donors may transfer assets irrevocably to Amherst from which they or another beneficiary receive income for life while saving on capital gains, income and estate taxes. Upon termination of the life income arrangement, the remaining assets accrue to Amherst for the College's general purposes, or for a purpose of interest to the donor.

Amherst offers the following life income plans: Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (most of which are invested in units of the College's highly diversified endowment), Charitable Gift Annuities (for donors interested in secure, fixed income), and two pooled income funds. While all of these plans offer very similar tax benefits and features, the individual circumstances of each prospective donor will determine which plan is most appropriate.

Gifts through wills or qualified pension plans Testamentary gifts, made by will or through a revocable trust, provide an excellent way to make a significant gift to the college, without sacrificing lifetime concerns. Individuals who wish to support Amherst and have assets invested in Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) plans or other qualified pension plans are encouraged to consider naming the college as the final remainder beneficiary. All funds designated for Amherst’s benefit will avoid the income taxes and possible estate taxes that will otherwise be levied against these assets.

Learn more about Gift Planning at Amherst.


Contact Us

Amherst College
P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Main Phone: (413) 542-5900
Gift Hotline: (866) 542-GIFT