Thinking about your taxes? Use our resources to inform your year-end giving before December 31.

As 2021 comes to a close, so do the time-limited tax provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (an extension of the CARES Act). Through December 31, 2021, cash gifts made to Cornell can have a greater impact on both you and the University:

• If you take the standard deduction on your taxes you can also deduct up to $300 in cash charitable gifts
• If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct cash gifts to qualifying charitable organizations up to 100% of your income

Our team is committed to sharing timely and relevant resources that strengthen your understanding of planned gifts and the legal provisions that affect charitable giving. Review the provided literature and explore your choices with our gift planning calculator. If any one of the gift strategies seems right for you please contact us for assistance.

McGraw Tower, Uris Library and Ho Plaza in fall, shot from Barnes Hall.

Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning


  • On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. At a time when philanthropy can be especially meaningful to our communities, the CARES Act includes several provisions pertaining to charitable giving (PDF, 278KB).


Vested Interest Fall 2021

  • Gift Planning newsletter from Cornell University (PDF, 3MB)


Vested Interest Spring 2021

  • Gift Planning newsletter from Cornell University (PDF, 4MB)



  • On December 20, 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law, and it took effect on January 1, 2020. This legislation marks the most significant changes to retirement security since the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF, 8MB).


Qualified Charitable Distributions

  • The charitable IRA rollover, also known as the Qualified Charitable Distribution or “QCD,” is now permanently available for donors who wish to make tax-free contributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to tax-exempt organizations like Cornell University (PDF, 16MB).


Bequest and Beneficiary Designations

  • A bequest is one way to make a charitable gift. Similar charitable designations can be made through a retirement plan or IRA, life insurance, and/or revocable and irrevocable trusts (PDF, 10MB). For more information on related gift strategies visit our smart gift plans page.


Donor-Advised Funds

  • A donor-advised fund is a convenient and cost-effective option for individuals who make substantial gifts to charity and have several philanthropic interests. It offers an alternative to commercial charitable gift funds or the legal complexities and expense of operating a private foundation (PDF, 2MB).
    For more information on related gift strategies visit our smart gift plans page.



  • Cornell’s endowment funds are dedicated to promote inquiry and innovation across the university. By choosing to support or create an endowment, you are forging a critical connection between past, current, and future generations of students and scholars (PDF, 7MB).


Charitable Gift Annuities

  • In exchange for an irrevocable gift of cash or other appreciated assets, Cornell agrees to pay one or
    two persons guaranteed payments at quarterly intervals for life. These payments can be
    immediate or deferred and require a gift minimum of $10,000 to establish the contract (PDF, 1MB). For more information on related gift strategies visit our smart gift plans page.


Charitable Remainder Trusts

  • A charitable remainder trust combines charitable giving with other financial goals while
    retaining an income for life or a term of years. At Cornell, you can establish a charitable
    remainder trust with a gift of $50,000 or more, which can include any combination of
    appreciated securities, real estate, cash, or other assets (PDF, 5MB). For more information on related gift strategies visit our smart gift plans page.


Investment Strategies for CRTs

  • Cornell charitable remainder trusts may be invested in either a traditional or an endowment strategy approach. To benefit from either Cornell investment strategy, a participating trust must name Cornell as Trustee. Review fund performance and investment options available for you at Cornell (PDF, 9MB).
    For more information on related gift strategies visit our smart gift plans page.

Students walk through Minns Garden towards the Plant Sciences Building in fall.

Explore your choices

Your gift can support Cornell and provide benefits to you and your loved ones. Provide some basic information and discover the outcome of various giving scenarios. Our staff can then help you review your options in more detail.