Best Assets for Making Your Gift

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions

IRA owners have who are 70½ and older have, in the past, had the ability to make charitable gifts directly from their IRAs of up to $100,000.  The most important issue to remember related to these gifts is that the contribution has to come directly from the IRA administrator, not from the donor.


Cash is frequently used as an asset to make a charitable gift and it provides you with some of the most immediate tax deductions.  Every dollar you give will be deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.  Excess donations can be carried over and deducted in up to five future years.

Tax savings are not the reason most individuals give for making gifts to NLU, but they can enable alumni and friends to do more than they thought possible.  If you have investment assets, they may prove to be a better option for you.

Investment Assets

You might be interested to know that individuals receive different tax results from giving different types of property.  Highly appreciated securities may be especially favorable.  If you have owned the stock for more than a year, you as the donor can deduct not only the original cost of the shares, but also the gains you have accumulated.  Most importantly, there are no capital gains taxes due when you donate securities.  The same applies for mutual funds and other types of investments. Please contact NLU before you cash in any profitable stocks that you are thinking of donating to us.

Do you have some investment assets you don’t anticipate needing for the near future?  It is possible to contribute merely the income from this asset and enjoy substantial income tax or gift and estate tax benefits.  A charitable lead trust is the gift vehicle that can make this possible.  Another option would be to loan the University up to $250,000 and remove the annual interest from your tax bracket.  This can be particularly helpful in a year when you have an exceptionally high income or face heavy federal tax.  Please contact us for more information on this type of gift.

Real Estate/Tangible Personal Property

Much like appreciated shares of stock or mutual funds, a gift of real estate also allow you to escape tax on the capital gain element of the property.  The same rules apply as above and you must have owned the property for at least one year.  The full fair-market value is deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and you still have five additional years to take advantage of any amount over the 30% ceiling.  Personal property such as art, rare books or collections also make great gift assets as long the use of the property is related to education and the maximum capital gain tax rate is 28%.

One final item to consider if you are thinking about donating a personal residence, ranch, or farm, is the option to continue to use the property throughout your lifetime.  In this instance you can make the gift, continue to use the property and receive an income tax charitable deduction.  Please consult with either a real estate attorney or us before making such a gift.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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