Planned Giving

1787 Society  

Making the Ultimate Gift

Over the years, Castleton has made a difference in the lives of many students, and they have chosen to make a difference for the future by making a lifetime gift.

The 1787 Society is Castleton’s way of showing our appreciation for those who have chosen to incorporate Castleton in their long term plan through a bequest provision, life income gift, or other deferred giving arrangement. Each year, the list of members is published in the university’s annual report to acknowledge and thank our supporters and their families for their generous dedication to the future of Castleton that accompanies a bequest.

If you have arranged for a bequest to Castleton and would like your name included with the 1787 Society listing, please contact the Development Office at Castleton, or ask your lawyer to inform Castleton of your request.

If at any point you prefer to be anonymous, Castleton will honor your request. However, we would like to thank you and therefore would be grateful for notification of your intention to leave a gift to the university.

Castleton University has been privileged with the opportunity to enjoy ongoing support from its alumni, employees, extended family and community members. Thank you for showing your appreciation for Castleton through your financial support. You make all the difference!

Ways to Give

Castleton’s giving options provide both planning strategies and flexibility that may minimize tax implications. Additionally, giving to Castleton may reduce your income taxes , help you avoid capital-gain tax , Increase your spendable income, retain payments for life and achieve no-cost, worry-free asset management.

Planned Giving occurs in five basic ways at Castleton. See the list below for further information.

Gifts by Will

A bequest is a gift from your estate, to be given to Castleton after your death. Most people arrange this bequest by including Castleton in their will, or by making Castleton a beneficiary of an insurance policy, a pension or a retirement account. Any size gift can be made in this way, and arranging it costs you nothing more than the cost of writing your will. The lawyer who assists you in writing your will can include the appropriate language assuring that your wish to support Castleton is honored.


  • Your bequest may be changed at any time
  • During your lifetime, you control the property funding the bequest
  • Your bequest will not be subject to any potential federal estate tax
  • Your bequest will provide support to the future of Castleton

Next steps:

  • To learn more about this gift please contact Director of Corporate Giving and Major Gifts Gary Ladabouche
  • Read our suggested bequest wording:

Bequest through a Will

Making a bequest through a will is one of the most common and straightforward options for making a planned gift. The following is a sample of the language you might use in your will. “I hereby give and bequeath to Castleton University, a non-profit organization operating in the state of Vermont, the sum of $___(or___% of the rest, residue or remainder of my estate) to be used as unrestricted funds. A bequest may also include any specific item of value, such as fine art, land, stocks or other property.

Gifts that pay you income

Charitable Gift Annuities and Remainder Trusts

Are you interested in supporting Castleton but concerned about having enough income for yourself and your loved ones? Life-income gifts, such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, can give donors with a stream of income and significant tax advantages along with the satisfaction of providing Castleton with vital, long-term support.

The creation of a life-income gift is beneficial for both the giver and the receiver.

Contact us to learn more about this gift.

The Charitable Lead Trust

The process of transferring property to individuals you wish to benefit is not always a simple proposition. However with Castleton’s careful planning, you may be able to arrange your transfers to fulfill a variety of needs. For example, if you have assets that are accumulating, children who may aspire to start a business of their own in the future, and aspirations to support Castleton, you may consider creating a charitable lead trust. This arrangement would allow you to benefit Castletonuntil your children are prepared to step out on their ownwhile minimizing any potential transfer taxes.

Under this plan, you permanently transfer assets to a trustee and provide that payments be made to us for a certain number of years (or until the end of your or another’s life). At that point the principal is distributed to your children, grandchildren, or other heirs. The principal will pass to your heirs at greatly reduced gift and estate tax rates and in some cases will escape them altogether. The charitable lead trust may appeal to those who wish to support Castleton but retain the property in their family.

Gifts from Retirement Plans

You may consider using retirement plan benefits to make a significant gift that will benefit Castleton. Due to the estate and income tax treatment of retirement plan benefits, the cost of your gift to your estate and heirs is often minimal.

Retirement plan benefits include assets that are held within individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and assets held in accounts under 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans, Keogh plans, and 403(b) plans.

Although Income tax on assets in a retirement plan are deferred they are not avoided. Therefore as these assets are withdrawn during retirement by the account owner or the account owner’s spouse, they are subject to income tax.

Additionally, retirement plan benefits left to children, grandchildren and other beneficiaries are subject to both income tax and estate tax upon the death of the account owner. This combination of income tax and estate tax has the potential to result in a tax hit of more than 60 percent of their retirement-plan benefits.

For example, Holly Wood incurs $1 million in retirement plan benefits. Upon her death at the age of 73, she leaves $1 million of securities to Castleton and her retirement plan to her children. As a result of the tax bite, the amount Holly’s children may receive after taxes, could be less than $363,000.

However, Holly could have left the securities to her children, who would inherit them at a stepped up basis, and the retirement plan to Castleton. And because the University is tax-exempt, the full $1 million would have been accessible to fund his favorite Castleton programs.

Special Opportunity for Donors Aged 70½ or older

A direct transfer from your IRA to Castleton may be excluded from your gross income, however an income tax deduction is allowed for the transfer. In order to qualify for this benefit the following must apply:

  • You must be 70½ years of age or order at the time of your gift.
  • The transfer must be directly from the IRA account to Castleton.
  • Your total IRA gifts may not exceed $100,000 per year.  
  • Your gift must be outright.

Gift of Assets

The easiest way to support Castleton is through cash gifts. However, creative gifts of assets may include stocks, bonds, and both real estate and personal property such as artwork or collections. These ways of giving may provide you with charitable deductions and often offer additional tax savings as well.

Choose the category of assets that best fits your situation.