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Top Considerations for Educational Donations

September 20, 2016

Many wealthy families find great meaning in giving to institutions that helped educate and deepen skills – the schools that provided them with a boost in their journey toward success. According to one survey, education-related donations are the second most popular among high net worth families, with an average gift size of $4.1 million. A significant charitable grant can help create a legacy and example for future generations.

Bringing the NextGen into the conversation. Where and how a family allocates its charitable donations are a great way to show the NextGen what matters most to a family. When considering a grant to an alma mater, families may want to take the opportunity to discuss with their family what was most impactful to their experience. Was it in a classroom? Was it on a sports field or a stage? Was it in the art studio? This could also be a chance to find out what the NextGen feels are both the strengths and weaknesses of their own education and what they would support or provide more focus to in the future.

Matching resources and needs. In recent years, prestigious universities have received donations of up to nine figures for endowments, properties and buildings. The endowments promise decades of benefits but in some cases, the generosity has also come under fire. Often, the recipient universities already boast huge endowments. Adding direction to a gift can allow a donation to be more impactful. Designating resources to something that you are passionate about can ensure that your vision is met.

Multiple vehicles for gift giving. Donors have many methods to choose from when giving money to institutions they support. Some may use retirement vehicles, appreciated stock or various life insurance strategies to fund contributions. If end of year timing is an issue, donor-advised funds are among the top vehicles for charitable giving. Most educational institutions have experts who can help potential donors navigate the process. The key is that families should consult their trusted advisors to ensure proper and efficient planning so that they can make sure their contribution dollars go as far as possible.