The Promise of Niagara

Get involved

with your help, we'll enable them to learn, grow, and serve.

Niagara University's Office of Institutional Advancement can provide you with information that will assist you as you make your philanthropic plans with your attorney, tax proffesional or investment professional. We want to make it easy for you to get answers to your questions. Our website can provide you with more detailed information or feel free to contact us at 716.286.8778.

What to give

Gifts of Cash

The simplest way to give. However, you can deduct a cash gift for income tax purposes only in the year in which you contribute it. Your cash gifts are deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income for the taxable years, but any excess is deductible over the next five years.

Gifts of Securities

The best stocks to donate are those that have increased greatly in value, particularly those producing a low yield. Even if it is stock you wish to keep in your portfolio, by giving us the stock and using cash to buy the same stock through your broker, you will have received the same income tax deduction but will have a new, higher basis in the stock.

Gifts of Securities: Closely Held Stock

Closely held stock, that which is not publicly traded, can also be used as a charitable gift even if you want to maintain a control position in the stock. As a charitable organization, Niagara University normally does not invest in closely held corporations; we may accept the gift as long as there are no preconditions on what we will or will not do with the stock. The corporation normally does not welcome outside stockholders and is likely to offer to redeem the stock at its appraised per share valuation, and preferring to have cash to invest, we likely would sell it.

Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

Did you know that nearly half your retirement plan assets can be eaten away by taxes at your death? Learn how to preserve more of your estate for the people and organizations that matter most in your life.

Your account can pass directly to a charitable organization as your primary beneficiary, or it can be transferred to a deferred giving arrangement that will pay an income for life to a family member, after which the remaining assets pass to the organization. You might even consider a deferred gift that is designed to pay a life income to yourself.

Gifts of Life Insurance

You can donate a life insurance policy to us or simply name us as the beneficiary. For the gift of a paid-up policy, you will receive an income tax deduction equal to the lesser of the cash value of the policy or the total premiums paid. To qualify for the federal charitable gift deduction on a gift of an existing policy, you must name us the owner and beneficiary.

Gifts of Real Estate

If you own property that is fully paid off and has appreciated in value, an outright gift may be the simplest solution. You can deduct the fair market value of your gift, avoid all capital gains taxes and remove that asset from your taxable estate. You can transfer the deed of your home or farm to us now and keep the right to use the property for your lifetime and that of your spouse.

Ways to give


Leave your legacy by making a gift in your will to friends, family and charitable organizations. A bequest is one of the simplest ways to remember those your care about most.

Charitable Gift Annuity

The concept of the charitable gift annuity in America dates back to 1843, when a merchant in Boston first donated a gift of money to the American Bible Society in exchange for a flow of income. Today, the concept includes valuable tax benefits for donors. But perhaps more valuable than the financial advantages is the satisfaction donors gain by helping to continue our mission and good works.

Retained Life Estate

One of your valued possessions, your home, can become a valued gift to us even while you are still living in it, and even if you want your spouse or other survivor to life there for life. This arrangement is called a retained life estate.

Charitable Remainder Trust

What are your plans for the future? While there is no single way to achieve all of your personal and financial goals, there is one strategy that can meet many of your needs. It's called a charitable remainder trust. In the right circumstances, this plan can increase your income, reduce your taxes, unlock appreciated investments, rid you of investment worries and ultimately provide very important support.

Charitable Lead Trust

If your goal is to provide an inheritance for your children and grandchildren, but you would also like to make a significant charitable gift through your estate, find out how a charitable lead trust can help you satisfy both objectives. It's a charitable lead trust that can provide a significant charitable gift through your estate and provide an inheritance to your heirs.

Wealth Replacement Trust

Perhaps you would like to make a sizable gift to Niagara now to help meet our current needs, but you don't want to reduce the estate you will pass to your family. The solution? Purchase life insurance.

"Sounds like a good idea," you say, "but then I'll have to pay the premiums on the policy." True enough, but depending on your age, health and tax bracket, the income tax savings from your charitable gift may be enough to cover the premium cost.