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Planned Giving



  • Please contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving at 202-885-3411 or

  • Office of Development and Alumni Relations
    4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20016


Mailing Address

Your Investment in Changing Lives

Biggie Tangane, SIS '15 and Wyatt Bensken, CAS '16

Biggie Tangane, SIS '15 and Wyatt Bensken, CAS '16

American University creates meaningful change in the world. AU students and graduates distinguish themselves through their service, leadership, and ability to address global challenges and opportunities.

Biggie Tangane, SIS '15, is fulfilling his promise to pay forward the scholarship he received at American University to help "change the story of Africa." A native of Botswana, he consults governments as a member of the African Leadership Group
on how to better foster a culture of entrepreneurship.

Originally attracted to American University because of its diverse student body and international focus, Tangane was the first recipient of the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship. He credits AU with sharpening his skills, helping him secure prestigious internships, and connecting him with people who challenged and shaped his thinking.

Grateful for the scholarship that made his education possible, Tangane cites the impact of charitable giving on the community. "Every dollar you give will support a student who will then go on to help a large number of people through their work."

Wyatt Bensken, CAS '16, administered polio vaccinations and collected medical data in Kibera, one of the world's largest slums, while participating in the AU Abroad program in Nairobi, Kenya. A public health student, Bensken interned fulltime, completed courses, and designed and administered an award-winning public health questionnaire.

The AU Abroad Student Mobility Award helped Bensken cover the costs associated with international travel, such as vaccinations, passports, visas, and flights. He appreciates that this assistance has allowed him to focus on his education, internships, and experiences without having to worry about the burden of finances.

American University is one of the few universities currently offering a study abroad program in East Africa, and Bensken maintains he "wouldn't have had such a transformative experience anywhere else."

You Can Make a Difference
If you are interested in helping provide scholarships and experiential learning opportunities for American University students by making contributions during your lifetime or through your charitable estate plans, please contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving, at 202-885-3411 or

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to American University 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 American University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016, 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 AU 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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 AU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 AU 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 AU where you agree to make a gift to AU 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.