How to Complete Your Gift 

To extend your support of Willamette University after your lifetime, consider these five factors when establishing an endowed gift.

1. Choose if you'd like the endowment to be an unrestricted or designated fund.
With an unrestricted fund, our leadership will direct your gift to our most critical needs. Many of our supporters endow their annual gifts into an unrestricted fund.

With a designated fund, you determine in advance what programs or services you want your donation to support. The specific details will be incorporated into a written description of your endowment, which must be approved by you and Willamette University.


2. Decide if you'd like to fund your endowment now or after your lifetime.
If you choose to establish a designated fund through your estate, we encourage you to let us know of your wishes in advance to be sure we can honor them. We have sample language to establish an endowment that you can share with your attorney when drafting your estate plan.

Quick Tip
Did you know?When making plans for an endowed fund, it is a good idea to consult your legal and tax advisors.

3. Determine the amount needed.
Any amount can be contributed now or upon your death to an endowment that we have already established. If you are creating an endowment today, we can inform you of the minimum amount required to establish a fund that we can name after you or someone you select. If you intend to create a designated or named endowment through your estate, however, we recommend that you:
  • Specify a minimum amount in your will or living trust.
  • Include a provision directing your executor to distribute more funds if needed to meet any future changes in the minimum amount to start an endowment.

4. Include safety language for designated funds.
Nationwide, millions of dollars directed to permanent endowments are sitting in bank accounts because the original use of the funds has become obsolete. This is why we encourage you to include a statement that allows our board of directors to redistribute the funds to another area if the original use is no longer necessary. We can provide you with the language to avoid your fund becoming obsolete. This won't be necessary if your gift is left unrestricted. We will ensure that your name still remains associated with the gift, regardless of its final use.

5. Lean on us for help.
We respect the personal nature of these decisions and have experience with the sensitive issues involved. We would be glad to consult with you to help ensure your wishes are satisfied. Just contact Steve Brier at (866) 204-8102 or sbrier@willamette.edu.