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Endowments and Charitable Giving

Charitable gifts are a critical source of revenue to nonprofit colleges and universities. These gifts are sometimes used to fund current operations through annual giving campaigns, while other gifts are directed to the long-term needs of the university. The basic principle underlying the charitable income tax deduction for gifts is that taxpayers should not be taxed on income that does not benefit them directly—because they give that income away to support the public good.

Many gifts are given to a university’s endowment. Endowments are complex, usually consisting of many—sometimes thousands—of different funds. Typically, most endowment funds are restricted by donors to support specific purposes, such as student scholarships, cancer research, and professorships. Colleges and universities are legally required to uphold donor intent when managing and spending endowment income.

Research universities use their endowments to support their educational missions of teaching, research, and public service by teaching students, performing research, and addressing problems affecting communities, states, and the nation. Endowments are also a critical source of student financial aid that helps to make college accessible and affordable.



Learn about why tax-exempt financing is critical for universities to advance their mission of educating and innovating for the public good.

The Association of American Universities and other associations urged the Senate Finance Committee to include provisions in any upcoming tax reform package that help students save and pay for higher education, and manage their student loan debt.

The Federal Tax Code impacts colleges and universities' missions through provisions affecting aid to students; incentives for charitable giving; tax-exempt financing; UBIT; and the R&D tax credit.
A statement was issued today by AAU, ACE, and NAICU in response to legislation under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly to impose taxation on Yale University.
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) offers comments for consideration by the Senate Finance Committee Working Group on Business Income Tax on behalf of the undersigned associations.
Higher education associations share their views with the working group on several tax provisions which are important to college students and their families, as well as on charitable giving tax incentives, particularly the itemized deduction for charitable giving.
The following letter is about a permanent extension of the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Charitable Rollover, which is included as part of a package of charitable giving provisions in H.R. 5806, the "Supporting America's Charities Act."
The following letter is urging to pass H.R. 4619, a bill to permanently extend the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Charitable Rollover, which expired at the end of 2013.
Higher education associations, write to House and Senate members to urge them to include extensions of the above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses (tuition deduction) and the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Charitable Rollover in any tax extenders legislation that is enacted this year (2014).