Skip to Content

Planned Giving

 
 

Questions?

  • Please contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving at 202-885-3411 or speyer@american.edu.

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

     

 
Mailing Address

Transforming Realty into Gift Reality

Real Estate

Want to make an impactful donation to American University without touching your bank account? Consider a gift of real estate. Such a generous gift helps AU continue to offer an outstanding education to students for generations to come. And a gift of real estate also helps you. When you donate appreciated property that you have held longer than one year you receive a federal income tax charitable deduction, you avoid paying capital gains tax, and you no longer have to pay for that property's maintenance costs, property taxes, or insurance.

Another benefit: you don't have to worry about navigating the process of selling the property. You can deed the property directly to American University, or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement naming AU as the beneficiary.

Ways to Give Real Estate

You can donate real estate to American University in any of the following ways:

Submit a few details to see the benefits of an outright gift.

See My Benefits

An outright gift. When you make a gift today of real estate you have owned for longer than one year, you obtain a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the property's full fair market value. This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees up cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to American University, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation. Furthermore, the transfer is not subject to the gift tax, and the gift reduces your future taxable estate.

A GIFT IN YOUR WILL OR LIVING TRUST. A gift of real estate through your will or living trust provides you with the flexibility to change your mind and the opportunity to support American University with a larger gift than you might otherwise be able to make during your lifetime. In as little as one or two sentences, you can ensure that your support for AU continues after your lifetime, and that your estate will benefit from a federal estate tax charitable deduction.

Submit a few details to see the benefits of a gift of retained life estate.

See My Benefits

A retained life estate. Perhaps the tax advantages that a gift of real estate to American University would offer appeal to you, but you want to continue living in or renting out your personal residence. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to AU but keep the right to occupy the home for the rest of your life. You continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees, and insurance on the property. Even though the university would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, you receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home's value. This type of gift cannot be revoked.

Submit a few details to see the benefits of a deferred charitable gift annuity.

See My Benefits

A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY OR DEFERRED GIFT ANNUITY. Are you tired of the hassles that come with maintaining your property, such as paying taxes, utilities and repair bills? Consider donating the property to American University in exchange for reliable payments for life for you (and someone else, if you so choose). When you establish a charitable gift annuity, you are allowed a federal income tax charitable deduction in the year that you set up the gift annuity. If you use appreciated real estate to make the gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy. A gift of unmortgaged property to fund a deferred gift annuity is preferable and generates the greatest tax benefit.

Submit a few details to see the benefits of a bargain sale.

See My Benefits

A bargain sale. With a "bargain sale" you sell your property to American University for less than what it's worth. The difference between the actual value and the sale price is considered a gift to AU. A bargain sale can be an effective way to part with property that has increased in value, and it is the only gift vehicle that can provide you with a lump sum of cash and a charitable deduction at the same time.

Submit a few details to see the benefits of a charitable remainder unitrust.

See My Benefits

A charitable remainder unitrust. You can contribute any type of appreciated real estate that you have owned for more than one year, provided it's unmortgaged, in exchange for an income stream for life, or a term of up to 20 years. The donated property may be a residence (a personal residence must be vacant upon contribution), undeveloped land, a farm, or commercial property. Real estate works well with only certain types of charitable remainder trusts. Your estate planning attorney, who will draft your trust, can give you more details.

A charitable lead trust. This gift can be a wonderful way for you to both support American University and transfer appreciated real estate to your family tax-free. You should consider funding the charitable lead trust with real estate that is income-producing and expected to increase in value over the term of the trust.

A tribute or endowed gift. A gift of real estate may be a perfect way to honor your loved one. When you make an endowed gift of real estate, your contribution is invested with and becomes part of American University's endowment. An annual distribution is made for the purposes that you designate. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will generate support.

A donor advised fund. When you transfer real estate to your donor advised fund, you avoid capital gains taxes and receive a federal income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the property.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

  1. Contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving at 202-885-3411 or speyer@american.edu to discuss how a gift of real estate could make a difference at American University.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor to make sure this gift fits your goals.
  3. If you include AU in your plans, please use our legal name and Federal Tax ID.

    Legal Name: American University
    Address: 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016
    Federal Tax ID Number: #53-0196549

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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to American University [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 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 AU 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 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.