How to Give

Two Decisions that Must be Made About Giving

There are two basic decisions that arise with every gift:  For what purpose will the gift be used by the University and what form will the gift take.  By making those two decisions you can be sure that your gift is not only made in the way that best suits your financial situation but also that it will accomplish your intentions to benefit the University of Alaska.  Follow the two paths below to learn more about how to make these two decisions.

 Gift Purpose

1. Unrestricted Gift CFOS students gain valuable<br> experience working outside the classroom. <br>Photo by Todd Paris, UAF

The broadest and most useful kind of gift is an unrestricted gift to the University.  This means that the University will decide how your gift should best be used to support the University.  To make this kind of gift you need only write the word "unrestricted" on the memo line of your check or on the on-line form used for making your gift.

2. Restricted Gift

You may restrict your gift in several different ways. For example, you may restrict your gift to provide scholarships to students.

Below are listed some of the more popular ways in which gifts may be restricted.  To place such a restriction on your gift you need only indicate the restriction on the memo line of your gift check or on the on-line form used for making your gift.  When your gift is received it will be placed into a fund that matches the purpose restriction you have indicated.  We suggest that you work together with a university development officer to determine where to invest your gift.

        1. To support a specific portion of the University (e.g. "The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at UAF", or "The Fairbanks Campus.")
        2. To support a specific broad use (e.g. "to provide student scholarships" or "to support faculty research.")
        3. To support an existing fund.  The Foundation manages more than 600 existing funds which have been previously established to benefit specific portions of the institution or for specific purposes.  Your gift can be added to such a fund and used for the purposes for which that fund was established.  To see a list of existing funds, please contact a development officer who can tell you which existing funds fit the purpose or portion of the University you wish to benefit from your gift.
        4. To establish a new fund.  If you wish to have your name or someone else's name on a fund (e.g., the Chester Buckholtz Scholarship) or establish a fund for a very specific purpose (to provide internships for students in Engineering) for which the Foundation does not already maintain a fund, you may establish a new fund at the Foundation.  If this is your desire you should call a development officer: 

University of Alaska Anchorage (907) 786-1954
University of Alaska Fairbanks (907) 474-1867
University of Alaska Foundation (907) 450-8030
University of Alaska Southeast (907) 796-6566

In deciding on the restrictions for the new fund you may find the following options and possibilities helpful.  Please note that many of the uses have minimum gift amounts. 

Options and guidelines for new funds: 


Endowments for any purpose, restricted or unrestricted, may be created with a minimum gift of $25,000.  An endowment may be established to support a chair, fellowship, scholarship, professorship or any other defined use at the University.  The minimum gift amounts for endowments created for some specific uses are noted below. 

Endowments are managed by the Foundation in accordance with its endowment management guidelines.  For questions about establishing these perpetual funds, please call a development officer as noted above. 

Scholarships or Student Awards

This requires a $1,000 annual minimum award per student or an endowment gift of a minimum of $25,000. 


This requires a donation exceeding $2.5 million if an endowment is established, or annual contributions of $100,000 if a restricted fund is established. 


This provides funds for a graduate student to do research.  Requires a minimum annual gift of $5,000 or an endowment gift of $100,000. 


Provides additional funds to an existing professor so that he or she may travel to give additional lectures, buy a particularly needed piece of equipment and the like.  At least $25,000 annually is needed for such support or an endowment gift of $500,000. 

Visiting Professorships

Provides income for a visiting professor to come to a campus of the University of Alaska or for a University of Alaska professor to teach at another university.  These professorships will allow the university to benefit from talent that would otherwise be unavailable or to share the expertise of our faculty with another university.  At least $15,000 annually is needed for such a fund or an endowed gift of $250,000. 


Named Program Fund

Named funds may be established to in areas of interest to donors in individual colleges or departments.  A minimum endowment gift of $25,000 is required. 

Centers and Institutes

Research Institutes or Centers of Excellence may be named.  The endowment gift needed must be large enough to provide sufficient annual income to be equivalent to the annual state appropriation to support the operating budget of the Center or Institute. 

Named Colleges or Schools

Associating an individual, corporation or foundation name with a college acknowledges great commitment on the part of the donor.  These transformational gifts typically begin at $25 million. 


Gift Form

A decision that comes with every gift is what form (or mechanism for making the gift) will your gift take. Below are the most popular options.

Types of Gifts

  • Cash Gifts
  • Life Insurance
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Pledges
  • Personal Property
  • Real Property
  • Stocks and Mutual Funds
  • Bequests
    1. Cash Gifts.  Checks, money orders, cash, bank drafts, electronic fund transfers and credit card gifts made payable to the University of Alaska (UA) Foundation indicating the fund or project to which the donor wishes to contribute.  The UA Foundation does not accept American Express or Discover cards.  Most other major credit cards are accepted.  The UA Foundation will provide a standard receipt to donors for cash and gifts made via credit cards. 

      Payroll Deduction.  Gifts may be made by University of Alaska employees to the UA Foundation accounts through UA Payroll Deduction.  For more information contact your human resources representative. 

    2. Life Insurance.  A donor can name the UA Foundation as beneficiary to his/her life insurance policy to provide funds in the future.  The donor may also donate the entire policy to the UA Foundation and receive a charitable deduction for the value of the policy (cash value not face value) at the time the gift is made and for any premium payments made by the donor to maintain the policy after transfer. 
    3. Charitable Remainder Trust.  A charitable remainder trust allows the donor to transfer funds or properties to the UA Foundation.  The UA Foundation will invest the value of the donation, then the donor becomes a beneficiary of regular payments for a specified time period or for life. 
    4. Charitable Gift Annuities.  A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) enables a donor to make a gift to the UA Foundation and receive fixed annual payments for life.  The payment amount is based upon the size of the gift and the age of the payment recipient; the older the recipient, the larger the payments.  A donor and his or her spouse may both be income recipients.  An income tax deduction is allowed for a portion of the gift and some amount of the income payments may be tax free.  If the gift made to establish the annuity is comprised of highly appreciated assets (stocks), a portion of the capital gain is not taxed and the remainder is reportable over time.  The CGA is similar to a commercial annuity but does not result in as high a stream of payments to the donor. 
    5. Pledges.  A written pledge can be made for a future gift to be made by a donor.  It is suggested that pledges are not written for more than 5 years outstanding. 
    6. Personal Property.  The UA Foundation can accept gifts of personal property (i.e., jewelry, equipment, art, etc.) if the gifts benefit the University and/or can be converted to cash. 

    1. Real Property.  A gift of real property to the University of Alaska can provide the donor with significant tax benefits and can be of great use to the university either for its educational purposes or to be sold to provide income to support other programs.  The University of Alaska Foundation accepts, manages and develops real property on behalf of the University.  The gift to the Foundation may be restricted to assist specific programs at any institution or campus in the University of Alaska System.  By making a gift of real property to the University a donor may be eligible for several tax benefits: 

      • A charitable deduction on the donor's federal income tax for the present fair market value of the property donated up to 30% of donor's adjusted gross income.  Deduction may be spread over a five year period. 
      • Freedom from paying capital gains tax on the sale of your property.
      • Freedom from property taxes donor would otherwise pay on the property. 

Gifts of Real Property through Bequests, Trusts or Life Estates

Bequests – A donor may leave real property to the University in their will by simply adding a paragraph or a codicil to the will which identifies the property he/she wishes to give and the University of Alaska Foundation as the recipient. 

Trusts – A person may donate their property to a trust which they've establish with the Development Office which will then pay the donor an annual income from the earnings of the property for the rest of his/her life. 

Life Estate – A person may donate their property to the Foundation and be given a life estate so that he/she may continue to live in and maintain the property until his/her death.  The specific tax benefits of these three types of gifts vary greatly depending on the individual financial situation of each donor. 

    1. Stocks and Mutual Funds.  The University of Alaska Foundation can accept gifts of stock in several ways.
    2. Bequests. 

What is a Bequest? A bequest is a section of a will which directs the executor of the estate to make a gift from the donor's assets to the person or institution of their choice after he/she dies.  Bequests may be used to provide gifts of money, real estate, stocks, works of art, jewelry, etc.  Bequests may also be used to establish charitable trusts which can provide funds for heirs and at the same time set aside funds for the University. 

Tax Benefits of Bequests.  Property and assets are subject to an estate tax when a person dies.  The tax ranges from 37%to 55% of the value of the estate after certain deductions are subtracted.  One of the few deductions which are allowed are those for gifts made through a will to a charitable organization like the University.  Thus, depending on the value of the estate and a person's own financial situation, bequests can result in major tax savings for the estate.  Potential donors should consult with their tax accountant as to how a bequest will affect their estate taxes. 

Ideally a bequest should be completed only after consultation with both the University and an attorney so that the donor can be sure that the bequest will accomplish the purpose envisioned.


For more information on giving to the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, please contact Teresa Thompson, CFOS Development Officer, at, or 907-474-1867.

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