Carnegie Mellon University

Give Through Assets

Generosity comes in many forms, and you can shape Carnegie Mellon’s world-leading innovation and maximize your gift by utilizing creative charitable gift options.

For many CMU supporters, giving through long-term appreciated assets such as retirement funds, life insurance, real estate, and stocks and bonds allows them to contribute more than originally thought possible with minimal impact on their current incomes.

The Office of Gift Planning team is here to discuss how a gift of assets can be a great way to maximize support to scholarships, academic programs, research, student life or another area of CMU that’s meaningful to you.

Stocks & Bonds

stocksbonds_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngGive more than you originally thought possible and reduce your capital gains tax by gifting appreciated stock that you have owned for more than one year.

  • For appreciated stock, you receive the same full fair market value charitable deduction as a gift of cash.
  • You avoid capital gains tax, if the donated stock was owned for more than one year and given directly to CMU.
  • Your gift of stock can be used to support your favorite university priority, college or program.
  • View transfer instructions to provide to your financial adviser to make your gift today.

Retirement Funds

retirementfunds_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngDesignating CMU as a beneficiary of your employee retirement plan, IRA and 401(k) or making an immediate gift using a Qualified Charitable Distribution is becoming an increasingly popular tool to maximize giving.

New in 2023! Life-Income Opportunities from IRAs

Qualified Charitable Distribution now includes gifts that create life-income arrangements, primarily a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). This special provision is available only once during the lifetime of the IRA owner and is limited to $50,000. 

  • This opportunity can include multiple gifts, but it must be completed in a single calendar year.
  • A minimum 5% immediate annuity rate as deferred payment arrangements are not eligible.
  • Payment can be made only to the IRA account owner and spouse, and all annuity payments will be considered ordinary income.
  • You can consider creating CGA contracts using other assets in order to accomplish your overall goals as you cannot make future gifts to your CGA or combine non-IRA assets with your once-in-a-lifetime IRA-funded gift.  

For planning purposes, the $100,000 annual limit for direct gifts to charity and the once-per-lifetime $50,000 maximum for charitable gift annuities are indexed for inflation.

Naming CMU as a Beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or Other Retirement Plans

  • You can continue to make regular lifetime withdrawals.
  • You can pick the percentage of your overall account you eventually wish for your family and favorite charities to receive, and you can change it at any time.
  • For tax planning purposes, retirement funds are more valuable to your charities than they are to children or other heirs.
  • You can establish a charitable trust at the time of death, and funding it with retirement assets effectively “stretches” your inheritance over the lifetime of your children.
  • Your fund administrator can provide the appropriate form to update your account beneficiaries, including adding a gift to Carnegie Mellon University.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution

  • Your eligibility starts at age 70 1/2.
  • Direct gifts to CMU and other qualified charities can satisfy all or part of your required minimum distribution (RMD).
  • While not tax deductible, the gift also does not trigger income, making this a powerful giving strategy if you choose not to itemize your taxes.
  • You (and your spouse) can each give up to $100,000 per year using this special provision.
  • You can reduce your income to take advantage of a lower threshold for Medicare premiums.

Donor-Advised Funds

donoradvised_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngCombine tax benefits, flexibility and maximum philanthropic impact with this option that functions as a charitable savings account.

  • You take advantage of an immediate tax deduction while establishing a fund to harmonize your overall giving.
  • You can support CMU and other charities in a year with a windfall event such as an inheritance, business sale or strong market returns.
  • With a gift of appreciated assets, you can eliminate or reduce capital gains obligations.
  • If your fund is invested, your charitable dollars can grow tax-free.
  • You may be able to designate CMU and other charitable organizations as a beneficiary of your fund upon your passing.


cryptocurrency_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngAdvance CMU’s pioneering spirit with a tax-deductible gift of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin or other virtual currencies.

Real Estate

realestate_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngDonate a vacation property, undeveloped land, mineral rights, farmland or commercial property to maximize your giving.

  • Real estate may be one of your most valuable long-term investments and giving the asset directly to charity can avoid capital gains tax on the sale.
  • You’ll relieve yourself of the stress, upkeep and liabilities from real estate investments.
  • Making a gift of real property to a charitable trust can turn that property into ongoing cash flow for your retirement while maximizing tax benefits.
  • You will receive a tax deduction based upon the property’s full fair market value.
  • Your home or primary residence is likely treated differently from a tax perspective than other real estate assets, creating other unique planning options.
  • For some properties, such as your primary or vacation residence, you may be able to make a current gift of the home while retaining the right to live in and use that property for the rest of your life.
  • This unique gift opportunity is commonly called a charitable retained life estate.

Life Insurance

lifeinsurance_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngMake use of a plan that has outlasted its original purpose or provides more coverage than you need by gifting it to CMU.

  • For term life insurance policies, you can name CMU as a whole or percentage-based beneficiary of the death benefit, while also enjoying flexibility to change your mind at any time should needs arise.
  • For whole life or universal life insurance policies, you may name the university as a death beneficiary. Or, if transferring ownership of the policy to CMU, you can receive a tax deduction for the present cash value/face value of the policy.
  • You make an impact at CMU using a valuable asset that may have already outlasted its usefulness to you and your family.

Personal Property

personalproperty_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngSupport CMU’s mission by gifting artwork, collections, antiques, classic cars, boats or other valuable items to the university.

  • Particularly important for historic or artistic works closely related to the history or mission of the university, you may realize tax advantages by making a gift while knowing the item will live on at CMU.
  • You let go of worries about keeping your valuable item secure and maintained.
  • You make an immediate impact at CMU while allowing current and future generations of Tartans to enjoy your items.
  • You may also find value in a gift of your property, and the university then selling the items in order to fund scholarships, research or other university priorities.

Cash, Credit Card, Wire Transfers

cash_assets_icon-whiteteal006677_150x150_gp-21-046.pngWrite a check, use a credit card to make a single or recurring donation online or set up a wire transfer.

This information is for illustration purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting or other professional advice. Please consult with your personal legal, tax and financial counsel prior to making a charitable gift. 

Warner.pngThe Warner Circle 

If you’ve made a life income gift to Carnegie Mellon or have named CMU in your estate plans, the university is proud to welcome you as a member of The Warner Circle donor recognition society. Let us know you’ve included CMU in your estate or financial plans by filling out our online form 

CMU's Tax ID Number: 25-0969449
Contact Gift Planning by phone: 412-268-5346
Contact Gift Planning by email: