Gift Planning Vehicles

There are many different gift planning options, each of which provides benefits in helping create your legacy & achieve your philanthropic goals.  

To learn more, contact Mary Ellen Bakowski, Office of Institutional Advancement at (716) 888-2235 or

Charitable Gift Annuity ~ Increase Your Retirement Income

Charitable gift annuities pay guaranteed fixed incomes at very attractive rates. With gift annuity rates based on age, your payout can be substantial. Payments can be sent to you now or be deferred to provide even higher income in the future. Best of all, a portion of your income stream could be tax free. 

Charitable Remainder Trust ~ Maximize Family Inheritances

If you are subject to estate and inheritance taxes, there are charitable giving tools to reduce or eliminate these taxes and provide more to your family and Canisius. Discuss with your attorney or financial advisor if a charitable lead trust or charitable remainder trust (CRT) can help you achieve your goals of passing on assets while reducing or even eliminating gift or estate taxes.

IRA Charitable Distribution or Gifts of Stock ~ Use Assets Other Than Ready Cash

Gifts of appreciated stock, or gifts directly from an IRA (with certain requirements), might cost less after tax savings than an outright gift of cash, but provide the exact same benefit to Canisius.

Due to special tax considerations, retirement funds can also be an excellent choice for funding a testamentary gift. By designating Canisius as a beneficiary of your retirement funds, your heirs can avoid paying the full amount of tax (as much as 60 percent or more for both estate and income tax) on the transfer of retirement funds.

Bequests ~ Make a Tax-Wise Bequest

By naming Canisius as a beneficiary of your will, retirement plan (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.), living trust, donor advised fund or life insurance policy, you will help to ensure the strength of the college for generations to come.

A will or living trust that includes Canisius as a charitable beneficiary is no different than any other will except that it includes language to benefit the college. The bequest can be structured in a variety of ways. We recommend you share the following language with the attorney who is drafting your will or living trust:
“I give, devise and bequeath to The Canisius College of Buffalo, NY Inc. the sum of $_________________” or “_________________ percent of my estate” or “the rest, residue and remainder of my estate. ”For a contingent bequest: “If (insert name) is not living on the 19th day after the day of my death, I give the property that would otherwise pass to (insert name) to The Canisius College of Buffalo, NY Inc.” 

Gifts of Insurance ~ Give Through Insurance

If you no longer need the entire death benefit of an existing insurance policy, consider naming Canisius as the beneficiary of all or part of the proceeds. To do so, contact your insurance carrier and complete a change of beneficiary form naming “The trustees of Canisius College.” In some cases, if you own a fully-paid, existing life insurance policy, you may want to consider making an outright gift by donating the policy to the college. By doing so, you benefit from an income tax charitable deduction for approximately the cash surrender value of the policy. 
Canisius College generally liquidates donated policies and uses the proceeds as you designate. If you make the college the owner and beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy, the annual premium payments will be tax deductible.

(Note: Information provided is for the general knowledge of Canisius College alumni and friends and is not intended as tax advice. For such advice, please consult your tax advisor.)