Ways of Giving
Why should I give?
The mission of the College Heights Foundation is to provide scholarship awards to benefit deserving students attending Western Kentucky University. Born from humble beginnings when a faculty member gave $100 in 1923 to provide a helping hand to needy students, the College Heights Foundation endowment has grown to more than $50 million and now provides scholarship awards to thousands of students on an annual basis. A gift to the CHF is a gift to a deserving student striving to get an education and achieve their dreams.
Please watch this video to get a glimpse of just how impactful your donation can be.
How can I give?
Gifts of Cash
There are three easy ways to make a gift of cash to the Foundation:
1) You may write a check payable to the College Heights Foundation and mail it to College Heights Foundation, 1906 College Heights Boulevard, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 42101.
2) You may call our office at 270-745-4597 to make a credit card gift over the phone.
3) You may simply visit our giving website at www.wku.edu/makeagift to make an online gift. Please be sure to reference the individual fund for which the gift is intended.
When you itemize your deductions, your gifts of cash may be deducted on your income tax return. Amounts up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income may be deducted during the year of the gift, with any excess deductions carried forward for up to five additional years. Your actual savings depend on your tax rate and other factors. Cash gifts are considered transferred on the date they are hand-delivered or mailed while credit card gifts are received on the date the card is processed.
Gifts by EFT/Automatic Credit Card
Some donors prefer the convenience of making a monthly gift in order to spread their entire contribution out over an entire calendar year. We offer convenient ways for donors to give monthly through electronic funds transfer, payroll deduction, or automatic credit card.
These options allow a donor the convenience of simply having an amount deducted each month from their checking account or automatically charged to their credit card without the hassle of writing a check or providing a credit card number each month. This option also allows donors to potentially maximize their giving by considering the amounts monthly as opposed to the entire amount at once. As an example, a $1,000 annual contribution can be made by simply contributing $84 each month through one of these giving options.
Gifts of Appreciated Securities
Giving stocks and bonds that have increased in value provides even greater tax benefits than gifts of cash. The market value of the securities is deductible (subject to applicable limitations), and you also avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation. You may generally deduct gifts in the form of appreciated property up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income with any excess deductible over the next five years. Anytime you wish to consider a gift of securities, please contact us in advance so we can walk you through the process.
Gifts of Closely Held Stock
In some situations, a donor may wish to make a gift of stock in a closely held corporation. If you own highly appreciated stock in a company that has significant cash reserves, this may be the best way for you to make a sizeable gift. When closely held stock is gifted, the donor is usually entitled to receive a charitable income tax deduction for the appraised value of the stock, in an amount up to 30 percent of adjusted growth income. Like gifts of appreciated securities and cash, any excess may be carried over into the next five years. This gift is beneficial because it allows the donor to make a gift without realizing capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the stock, and it allows the corporation to use a potentially taxable cash surplus for philanthropic purposes.
Gifts of Real Estate
A gift of real estate can consist of almost any type of property: a primary residence, a vacation home, a farm or ranch, a commercial building, subdivision lots or an undeveloped parcel. Such a gift will provide a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the gift up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income if you have held it for more than one year. The usual five-year carry-over also applies.
Through various methods of managing property and arranging for its distribution to family and others, you can minimize taxes and worries for your heirs. You may also be able to arrange a supplemental income for retirement through a charitable trust as part of your gift, or give a home while continuing to live there.
You will need to have your gift of real estate appraised by an independent appraiser to determine the value of your deduction, and you should first consult with the College Heights Foundation to make sure your real estate is appropriate to the needs of the University.
Gifts of Objects
Donations of artwork, books, equipment and antique furniture are sometimes appropriate gifts to WKU. Before making a gift of tangible personal property, however, please consult with the University to confirm your gift can be used as you wish while also meeting the needs of WKU. If your gift is valued at $5,000 or more, you must have an independent appraisal within 60 days of the gift's transfer to the CHF to determine the value of your deduction.
Gifts through Estate
Many individuals choose to make a meaningful gift by including the College Heights Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. Planned gifts can provide a perfect opportunity for individuals to maximize their charitable giving while also minimizing the tax consequences of their estate. A variety of estate planning vehicles may be considered including a Will bequest, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, retirement funds, or life insurance policies. Please visit our planned giving site for more details or contact us to discuss some of these giving vehicles in greater detail to determine the option that might be best for your individual philanthropic needs.