Planned giving

Planned giving

Vision and benefaction built the University of Cambridge, laying the foundation for a remarkable 800 years of history and creating what is today one of the world’s preeminent centers for education and scholarship. This philanthropic tradition has given Cambridge its magnificent architectural and cultural heritage, supported academics in their field of study, and helped provide the supervision-based teaching model that is the hallmark of a Cambridge education.

About planned giving and the 1209 Society

Remembering Cambridge in your estate plans will ensure that this distinctive collegiate university continues to provide outstanding opportunities to future generations of talented students and academics. Moreover, your legacy gift will carry on an eight century commitment to achievement and excellence.

The Benefits of Planned Giving

There are various ways to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to collegiate Cambridge while advancing your financial and philanthropic objectives. A planned gift can offer significant tax benefits - substantially reducing capital gains and estate taxes - and/or provide immediate income to you or a beneficiary. U.S. tax payers wishing to support their College and/or the University through an estate plan may do so via Cambridge in America.

The 1209 Society

Established in 1998, The 1209 Society honors and acknowledges the many generous donors living in the U.S. who recognize the importance of Cambridge University and its 31 Colleges through their estate planning. By including collegiate Cambridge in your will, trust or estate plan, you are invited to become a member of The 1209 Society.

Membership includes:

  • Invitations to special events
  • Recognition certificate
  • Annual newsletter
  • Listing in The 1209 Society Roll of Honor (a leather-bound volume in Cambridge)

To download the 1209 Society brochure, please click here

Planned Giving Vehicles


For many donors, a bequest made under a will is the easiest way to make a significant gift to Cambridge. These charitable gifts are 100% deductible from your taxable estate and may be designed when you create a new will and/or add a codicil to your existing will. Bequests may be in the form of cash, securities, real estate, tangible personal property or other assets. To ensure that your exact wishes are implemented, Cambridge in America suggests that you seek the advice of counsel when preparing your will or codicil.

Types of Bequests

  • Specific bequest – a stated dollar amount or particular asset such as securities, real estate or tangible personal property (e.g. works of art).
  • Residuary bequest — a percentage of the remainder of the estate after specific amounts bequeathed to other beneficiaries have been distributed and estate-related expenses have been paid.
  • Contingent bequest – a gift that takes effect only if other beneficiaries predecease you.
  • Testamentary trust – provides one or more heirs with income for life after which assets pass to Cambridge in America.

Suggested language to include Cambridge in America in your will for a specific bequest:

“I bequeath to Cambridge in America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the District of Columbia with the business address of 1120 6th Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036, the sum of ________ [dollars or percentage of estate], to be used exclusively for its charitable purposes. It is my hope that these funds will be utilized for the support of [University or College area desired for support or for general operations, etc.].”

** Under its charter and in accordance with U.S. tax law, Cambridge in America may not receive restricted gifts. However, the Board gives every consideration to donors’ requests when allocating gifts to Cambridge and its Colleges.

Retirement Plans

Using your retirement assets as a gift vehicle can be a tax-efficient way to fund all or part of a bequest to Cambridge in America. Retirement plans that remain in your estate are often subject to both estate and income taxes when received by your heirs. You can name Cambridge in America as the beneficiary of all or part of your plan and limit this potential double taxation.

Life Insurance

Another way to make a future gift is to name Cambridge in America as the beneficiary of all or part of a new or existing life insurance policy. Depending on the type of policy donated, you may receive an immediate tax deduction, and any future premium payments may also be tax deductible.

Life Income Plans

A life income gift can benefit both you and Cambridge. You may increase your income, receive an income tax charitable deduction, eliminate capital gains taxes, and reduce your estate taxes. At the same time, you have the satisfaction of making a gift now, while protecting your financial security.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Is established through an irrevocable transfer of cash, securities, or real estate and provides you and/or your beneficiaries with lifetime income with annual payments based on a fixed percentage of the trust’s value or a fixed dollar amount. After the life interest(s) have ended, the principal is transferred to Cambridge in America and used in accordance with your wishes. A charitable tax deduction for a portion of your contribution is available in the year you make the gift.

Charitable Lead Trust

Is established through an irrevocable transfer of cash, securities or real estate and provides Cambridge in America with annual income (based on a fixed percentage of the trust’s value or a fixed dollar amount) for a specific term of years, usually 10-20. When the trust terminates, the principal plus any appreciation is transferred to your beneficiaries. A lead trust may be established during your lifetime or under your will. You can receive Federal gift and estate-tax deductions for the value of annual trust payments to Cambridge in America.

Please consult your tax advisor as to which planned gift program best meets your financial and philanthropic goals.


CAm has an existing relationship with State Street Global Advisors’ (SSgA) Charitable Asset Management*, you may now easily establish a Charitable Trust to benefit collegiate Cambridge, yourself and your family.

CAm can also provide a seamless transition should you wish to convert an existing trust to be administered by SSgA. Please contact CAm’s planned giving office to begin exploring a Charitable Remainder or Lead Trust.

* Established in 1984, Charitable Asset Management is a boutique group within SSgA dedicated to providing a unique combination of gift planning experience in stewardship, investment management, and state of the art technology.  With over $3 billion in planned giving assets for more than 25,000 donors/beneficiaries, their staff of 46 planned gift specialists works with 160 charities, 60 percent of which are associated with institutions of higher education.†  The group’s in-house tax team is solely dedicated to charitable tax reporting for its clients and these six professionals have an average of 16 years charitable trust tax experience.†

†as of March 31, 2008

Contact Information

For further information about The 1209 Society or planning a gift to Cambridge, please contact:

Elizabeth Truslow
Cambridge in America
1120 Avenue of the Americas, 17th Floor
New York, NY, 10036
Tel: 212.984.0964