Methods of Giving

Howard University is thankful for generous individuals who, like you, want to invest in the future of an institution they truly value. There are many ways to make your tax-deductible contribution to Howard. In all cases, you can designate your gift to the school or program of your choice or to one of our current initiatives.

To obtain details on the various methods of making a gift to Howard, please click the appropriate link below.

Donation Options Description
Bequests Making a bequest to Howard is simple. Learn more about how you can contribute to Howard in this way.
Cash/Check Gifts by cash or check are the most popular and easiest way to make a gift to Howard.
Charitable Lead Trusts Charitable lead trusts allow Howard to receive income from a donor's assets for a specified time, after which time the donor regains control of the assets.
Charitable Remainder Trusts Charitable remainder trusts provide income and tax benefits for donors while creating revenues for Howard.
Credit Card (Online) Make your credit card donation online. It‘s secure, quick and easy.
Foreign Currency Howard welcomes gifts of foreign currency. Find out how to donate.
Gift Annuities
Gift annuities provide older donors with lifelong fixed incomes as well as tax benefits.
Life Insurance
Giving a life insurance policy is a great way to contribute more than you may have thought possible.
Matching Gifts Does your company match charitable donations? If so, you can double or triple the size of your gift to Howard.
Payroll Deduction It is easy for Howard employees to give by having donations deducted from their payroll check.
Real Estate Gifts of real estate can generate significant tax benefits for donors and eliminate problems that come with the settlement of estates.
Stocks/Securities Giving stock or securities to Howard is beneficial to the University and allows relief from capital gains taxes.
Tangible Personal Property Consider making a contribution of personal property or real estate. Your gift will benefit Howard immeasurably.

Bequests

Bequests are the most common and simplest form of planned gift that Howard has been fortunate to receive. A bequest is a gift - large or small - that is made through a donor's will. Individuals may include Howard University in their wills by naming Howard for a specific dollar amount (called a "legacy"), a specific asset, or a percent share of their estate. Donors can also name Howard as the residual beneficiary of their estates after the payment of bequests to others.

Donors do not owe any federal estate tax on the amount of the bequest. Many states allow full inheritance tax deductions as well.

For more information on making a bequest gift to Howard, please refer to pages 24–26 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Cash/Check

Donations by cash or check are the most popular and easiest way to give to Howard University.
The Division of Development and Alumni Relations gladly accepts cash gifts, but we do not recommend that you mail cash via postal service or courier. To make a donation in cash, please visit us at 2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Suite 626, Washington, DC during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

When paying by check, regardless of the designation of your donation, please make your check payable to Howard University. If you wish to direct your gift for a specific purpose, such as the Cancer Center or scholarship programs for Howard students, simply indicate that in the memo line of your check or in any accompanying correspondence.

Please mail your check to:

Division of Development & Alumni Relations
Howard University
2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Room 901
Washington, DC 20059

To make a memorial or honorary gift by cash or check, begin by following the instructions above. Then, attach a note that includes the name of the person you are memorializing or honoring and the family contact name and address (for memorials) or the individual's name and address (for honorary gifts). We will notify the family/individual of your contribution.


Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable lead trusts are most appealing to wealthy donors who want to pass appreciated assets to their heirs at a reduced gift or estate tax cost. Charitable lead trusts allow Howard to receive income from the donor's assets for a specified time, after which the asset is returned to the donor or to the donor's heirs who do not have to pay any additional taxes. Assets appropriate for a charitable lead trust are bonds, listed securities, closely held stock and income-producing real estate.

If your children or grandchildren will be the recipients of the trust assets, you may pay a gift tax on the asset when it is placed into the trust, but the gift tax will be reduced by the charitable value of the trust income paid to Howard. Once the asset is placed into the trust, it can grow tax-free!

For more information on charitable lead trusts, please refer to pages 24–26 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable Remainder trusts allow donors to retain legal rights to income from a trust. You simply give your assets to a trust and those assets are invested, producing income for you - or another beneficiary - for either a fixed period of time or for your lifetime. At the end of the trust period, Howard keeps all remaining assets. And, you may claim a tax deduction for the estimated portion of the assets that will ultimately come to Howard.

Two basic types of charitable remainder trusts, unitrusts and annuity trusts, allow you to qualify for federal tax benefits and continue to receive income from your stock, cash or other assets.

Unitrust
Under a unitrust, the donor receives one or more yearly payments equaling a fixed percentage of the value of the asset, which is assessed each year. As the value of the asset grows, so does your income. Under a net income unitrust, the donor receives only the income earned by the trust, even if the trust earns less than the payout rate. However, the trust can be set up to include a "make-up provision," which allows the donor to make up the lost income, provided the trust earns more than the payout rate in future years. You can also invest the principal of the trust in securities that pay tax-exempt income.

Annuity Trust
Under an annuity trust, the donor receives a yearly fixed payment equaling at least five percent of the value of the asset at the time the deferred giving agreement was signed. People who want a predictable income each year like this option. Donors who contribute charitable remainder trusts may receive income tax deductions and escape capital gains taxes. Many donors find trusts an appealing way to prepare for retirement. The assets can be invested to earn a lower rate of return when the donor is younger and then shifted to earn a higher rate of return, providing more income during the donor's later years.

For more information on charitable lead trusts, please refer to pages 24–26 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Credit Card (Online)

Make your donation online using our secure site.


Foreign Currency

Howard University greatly appreciates cash donations in any form, including foreign currency, U.S. dollars drawn on foreign banks or foreign "dollars." Howard gives its donors gift credit in U.S. dollars for the value of the donation, based on current exchange rates the day the contribution is received.

It is important to note that Howard often incurs bank fees when processing these types of gifts, usually a $50 U.S. fee for foreign currency or checks drawn on foreign banks. U.S. currency items drawn on foreign banks will be assessed fees ranging from $2.00 to $35.00.

At times when the fees associated with a gift of this type outweigh the gift itself, Howard must decline and respectfully ask that the donation be made via U.S. dollars or made payable with a check drawn on a U.S. bank.

Please consult your financial institution for more information on the current US exchange rates, or visit www.xe.net/ucc to access exchange rates for most any foreign currency.


Gift Annuities

The gift annuity agreement provides donors who give cash, securities, real estate or personal property fixed annual payments for a specified period of time, usually for life. With a deferred gift annuity, the annual payments do not start when you make the gift, but begin at a later time specified by you.

Gift annuities are attractive if you want to receive income from assets that have risen sharply in value, such as cash or stocks. In return for gifts of such assets, you are guaranteed a fixed annual income for the rest of your live and you avoid capital gains tax. You also get an income tax break on a portion of the earnings from an annuity; the exact amount depends on your age.

For more information on charitable lead trusts, please refer to pages 24–26 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Life Insurance

You can make a gift of whole or universal life insurance by naming Howard University the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of the policy. In fact, there are several attractive ways to use life insurance as a charitable gift.

  1. You can contribute a paid-up policy that you no longer need. This does not diminish your current income at all and may provide you with an income tax deduction for the replacement value of the policy. Your gift may also save you considerable estate taxes.
  2. You can give a policy that is not paid up and take a deduction for the "cash surrender value" of the policy. You would continue to make gifts to Howard to pay the premiums and these gifts would be deductible as charitable contributions.
  3. You could fund a Charitable Remainder Unitrust for your spouse with life insurance. The premium payments would be partially tax–deductible, and the trust will provide income for your spouse after your death.
  4. You can give appreciated property to Howard and use the income tax savings to purchase life insurance for your family.

For more information on charitable lead trusts, please refer to pages 24–26 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Matching Gifts

Contribute Matching Gifts
Many employers sponsor matching gift programs that will match the charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and/or spouses. Through a matching gift program, the impact of your gift to Howard can be doubled or possibly tripled! Best of all, you are recognized for the full amount of your own gift plus any resulting corporate match. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please enter your employer's name below.

Employer's Name: 

If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer, and send it completed and signed with your gift. We will do the rest.


Payroll Deduction

Howard employees can make charitable contributions to the Family Fund via payroll deduction. You may choose to have $5.00 or more deducted from your payroll bi-weekly, or you may wish to have us calculate the appropriate amount to fulfill a pledge. At any time, a payroll deduction can be changed or stopped by contacting the Director of Annual Giving at (202) 238-2567.

For additional information or to access the Family Fund gift form, please visit the Family Fund webpage.


Real Estate

Gifts of real estate can generate significant tax benefits for donors and eliminate problems that come with the settlement of estates. The gift can be for a fractional interest in the property or the entire property.

To determine if your property can be donated or to learn more about gifts of real estate, please refer to pages 14-19 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy.

If you believe your property meets our qualifications and you are interested in donating it to Howard, please contact Nesta H. Bernard, Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations at (202) 238-2348.


Stocks/Securities

A gift of stock or securities (stock, bonds, mutual funds) typically involves publicly traded shares, such as those traded on the major exchanges and over the counter, as well as most mutual funds.

Your gift of securities can provide you with significant tax and financial benefits, such as bypassing capital gains taxes and providing a valuable income tax deduction – both of which effectively reduce the cost of making your gift. For example, a donor who gives a gift of common stock, held longer than one year, avoids capital gains taxation on the transfer so the full value of the contribution goes to the University. The donor is able to take a charitable deduction using the full value of the gift and can claim up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) in the year the gift is made with up to five years to absorb the full deduction under the AGI ceiling. Securities may be transferred to Howard via electronic transfer, mail or hand delivery.

  1. Electronic Transfer is the most popular and efficient way to transfer securities to Howard University. The transfer is completed through a free delivery, which means that Howard gets 100 percent of the value of the transfer and both Howard and the contributor avoid paying commissions to a broker.

    If your stock is held by a broker, notify the broker that you wish to make a gift of securities to Howard University. Your broker will need written authorization from you before he or she can make the transfer. Be sure to specify the name of the stock that you want to transfer, the number of shares, and where you would like your gift to be designated when it reaches Howard.

    Once you have authorized the transfer, ask your broker to contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567. Our office will give your broker complete transfer instructions. Even if you have donated securities in the past, be sure your broker contacts the Office of Planned Giving before the transfer is made, as transfer instructions may change from year to year.

  2. Mailing Stock Certificates: If your securities are not held by a broker, you can mail the certificates directly to:
    Division of Development & Alumni Relations
    Howard University
    2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Room 901
    Washington, DC 20059

    Please send your unendorsed certificate(s) and a cover letter (including your name, address and purpose of the gift) in one envelope. In a second envelope, send a signed, signature-guaranteed stock power. A stock power form can be obtained from your local bank or by calling the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.

    We strongly recommend using registered mail to forward your certificates and stock power. Please do not mail endorsed certificates. Once the certificate is endorsed, it is legal tender and can be exchanged by anyone.

  3. Hand Delivery: Certificates may also be given directly to a University Development Officer or hand delivered to the Office of Planned Giving. It is strongly recommended that certificates not be sent to a transfer agent for registering in the University's name. This procedure is unnecessary and results in needless delay of the transfer.

    For additional information, please refer to the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy and/or contact the Office of Planned Giving at (202) 238-2567.


Tangible Personal Property

Howard welcomes gifts of tangible personal property (gifts-in-kind) that further the university‘s educational endeavors and which the University would otherwise need to purchase. We will help you decide how to make your gift and determine if the gift requires prior approval by Howard‘s Gift Acceptance Committee.

To determine if your property can be donated or to learn more about gifts of tangible personal property (gifts-in-kind), please refer to pages 19-23 of the University‘s Gift Acceptance and Administration Policy.

If you are interested in donating any item of personal property, please contact Nesta H. Bernard, Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations at (202) 238-2348.