Giving at Year-End

Through careful planning, a year-end gift can allow you to do more for causes you care about than you may have thought possible—and provide you with tax benefits. As you review your 2021 philanthropic donations, we hope you will consider making a gift to Princeton.

1. Make a Tax-Deductible Charitable Contribution

A charitable contribution may lower your income taxes if you itemize. You can make an outright gift online, by mail, or by wire transfer. In order for your gift to be credited in the 2021 tax year, gifts made online or by credit card must be processed by midnight EST December 31, 2021, (credit card gifts should be made online; please do not send credit card information by mail), gifts by check must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2021, and wire transfers must be initiated by December 30, 2021. 

Make your gift online or find more information on ways to give.

2. Give a Gift of Stock

A gift of appreciated securities generally offers two tax benefits. By giving stock directly to Princeton, a tax-exempt charity, you avoid paying capital gains tax on the transferred securities. You also may receive a tax deduction for the full-market value of the securities at the time of the gift. Make sure you have owned the securities for more than one year to qualify for these tax advantages. For your gift to qualify for a year-end deduction, gifts must be initiated by December 30, 2021, and Princeton must receive the securities by 2:00 p.m. on December 31, 2021.

See instructions on giving stock.

3. Give through an IRA

A qualified charitable distribution from an IRA, commonly referred to as an IRA charitable rollover, allows donors age 70 1/2 or older to make charitable gifts that are excluded from taxable income and count toward their required minimum distribution (RMD). To qualify, gifts must be transferred directly from the IRA provider to Princeton and meet certain other requirements. Please tell your fund manager to name you as the donor on the transfer.

Get sample documents and more information.

4. Give through a Donor-Advised Fund

As an IRS-qualified public charity, Princeton is eligible to receive contributions from a donor-advised fund (DAF), a philanthropic vehicle established at a public charity that allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit, and then recommend grants from the fund to public charities of their choice over time. Find out more about giving through donor-advised funds.

Find out more about giving through a donor-advised fund.

5. Consider a life income gift

Gifts that provide an income tax charitable deduction and pay income for life are an option for fixed income assets or for assets you might want to gift in the future, but you need the financial security they provide for you now. By placing this property into a charitable remainder trust or gift annuity, you can support Princeton, receive an income tax deduction, avoid or defer capital gains tax, and receive an income for life—often at better rates than you are currently receiving. Please note that new trusts can take several weeks to establish.

Find more information on gifts that pay you an income.

6. Set Up a Charitable Gift Annuity

Charitable gift annuities provide guaranteed lifetime payments to donors and/or their beneficiaries age 65 or older. The remainder then supports the Princeton programs of your choice. For more information on current gift annuity rates, visit the American Council on Gift Annuities website. If you are interested in establishing a CGA before year-end, please contact Princeton’s Office of Gift Planning: call (609) 258-6318; email GiftPlanning@princeton.edu.

Find more information on charitable gift annuities.

7. Name Princeton as a Beneficiary

Naming Princeton in your will or as a beneficiary of a retirement, brokerage, bank account or life insurance policy is easy and costs nothing now. Beneficiary designations can often be made online. Simply name the Trustees of Princeton University as the beneficiary with our Tax ID: 21-0634501. The mailing address for estates is: Office of the General Counsel, Princeton University, New South Building, 4th Floor, Princeton, NJ 08544; telephone number is (609) 258-2500.

Find information on making a gift through your will, living trust, or beneficiary designation.

8. Learn more about the CARES Act

As 2021 comes to a close, so do the time-limited tax provisions introduced in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Now through December 31, 2021, cash gifts made to Princeton can have a greater impact for both you and the University: 


  • Those who take the standard deduction may now deduct up to $300 ($600 as joint non-itemizer filers) in qualified charitable contributions of cash to Princeton and other qualified charities. 

  • Itemizers may deduct cash gifts up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income in 2021. Gifts to donor-advised funds and private foundations are not eligible. 

  • Required minimum distributions from retirement accounts are back in 2021. However, individuals still can make a qualified charitable distribution of up to $100,000 from their IRAs. The direct distribution to charity generally would not be included in taxable income. 

  • Please consult with your personal tax advisor on how best to benefit from these tax provisions.

For questions, please email giftplanning@princeton.edu.