The Big DIG: Ways to Give

There are many easy ways to support the Dietrich Inspirational Gifts: Promoting Research and Scholarships Initiative (The Big DIG). Each type of gift is equally impactful for our students and faculty but each comes with its own unique tax advantages for you.

More than one method may be used when making a gift. Donors can fund their commitment with a single gift or schedule payments over as many as five years. A development officer would be happy to work with you to discuss the many ways you can support The Big DIG.


Gifts of Cash

Gifts of cash are by far the most popular and simplest method of making a gift to The Big DIG. After meeting with one of our gift officers, you simply write a check to the University of Pittsburgh; the value of the gift can be deducted from your income taxes to the extent allowable by law.

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Gifts from an IRA

Making a gift using your individual retirement account (IRA) benefits the University and often carries a substantial tax advantage.

If you are 72 years old or older, you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA funds each year (with the exception of 2020 due to the coronavirus). The IRS counts the RMD as taxable income. However, you can give up to $100,000 annually from an IRA directly to the University of Pittsburgh without having to pay income taxes on the disbursement. Your IRA charitable rollover gift to Pitt can satisfy all or part of that requirement.

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Gifts of Appreciated Stock and Other Assets

Making a gift of appreciated stock or other assets is a great way to realize the full value of your investment while often avoiding substantial taxes. The federal government taxes capital gains on securities and other assets (the difference between
the price at which you purchased the asset and the price at which you sold it) at rates as high 28%.

When you donate stocks (including mutual funds) or other assets held for more than a year directly to the University, the gain is exempt from all capital gains taxes. Additionally, you could receive an income tax deduction equal to the full value of the appreciated asset on the day it is transferred to Pitt.

After meeting with one of our gift officers, contact your broker to initiate the transfer.

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Gifts from a Donor Advised Fund

Congratulations on making the wise decision to create a donor advised fund. These “charitable investment accounts” are a wise way to maximize your philanthropic plan.

The University can accept gifts from your donor advised fund. Simply contact your fund’s sponsoring organization with a
grant distribution recommendation benefiting The Big DIG priority of your choice.

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Bequests and Beneficiary Designations

You may make a bequest or gift through your estate by including a provision in your will or living trust, or by naming Pitt as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy. The amount left to the University can be expressed as a dollar amount or as a percent.

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Gifts that Pay You Income

A life income gift allows you to give assets to Pitt while providing yourself or others with income for a period of time before Pitt is permitted to use your gift. You may make a life income gift by transferring securities, cash, or other property to Pitt or a trustee. The University or trustee then manages these assets and pays an income to you, your designated beneficiaries, or both.

There are several kinds of life income gifts:

  • Charitable Gift Annuities
    In exchange for an outright gift, Pitt agrees by contract to pay a fixed amount each year to you and/or another beneficiary for life.
  • Charitable Remainder Unitrusts
    You establish a trust from which you and/or other beneficiaries receive variable annual payments for life or a term of years. At the end of the term, the remainder of the trust assets go to the Dietrich School for the purposes you designate.
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts
    You establish a trust from which you and/or other beneficiaries receive annual payments of a fixed dollar amount for life or a term of years, after which the remainder of the trust assets pass to Pitt for the purposes you designate.

Donors can make each of these gift types or a combination to fund an endowed or a current use gift.

When considering charitable giving, you should talk with your tax, legal, and financial advisors; the University of Pittsburgh does not render these services.