You can make a gift to Harvard through a trust or annuity that will pay you and/or another beneficiary annual income for life. At the death of the last income beneficiary, the remaining principal is transferred to Harvard. Gifts for Harvard’s general charitable purposes are most helpful in giving the University’s leaders the flexibility to apply the funds where needed most. However, it also is possible to designate your gift for a particular purpose.

How a Life Income Plan Works

  1. Donor transfers an asset to a life income plan.
  2. Donor/beneficiary receives annual income.
  3. When the plan terminates, the remainder principal passes to Harvard. 

Additional Benefits

  • Savings on income, capital gain, gift, and/or estate taxes
  • The ability to convert low- or non-income producing assets into a gift with an attractive income stream
  • Professional management and investment diversification through Harvard Management Company or TIAA Kaspick, with no separate fee. 

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and Harvard that offers a tax-advantaged way to provide for income during retirement. In the future your gift will provide support for Harvard’s mission.

You can begin to receive income right away, or at a predetermined future date. You also can decide when the income payments begin within a future time frame, determined when you make your gift. In any case, your income is taxed at a favorable blended rate.


  • Steady, guaranteed lifetime payments, backed by the assets of the University
  • Charitable income tax deduction
  • Avoidance of capital gains tax
  • Savings on gift and estate taxes
  • Future support for Harvard 


  • Minimum gift of $25,000
  • Payments can begin at age 40 or later
  • Can be funded with cash, securities, or other property 

Harvard University Gift Annuity Rates*

Income rates are based on your age or the age(s) of your beneficiary(ies) when quarterly payments begin.

Donor makes a gift today at current age(s)… …and annuity begins immediately at this rate... …or waits 5 years before annuity begins at this rate:
60 4.9% 6.5%
60/60 4.4% 5.8%
65 5.4% 7.3%
65/65 4.8% 6.4%
70 6.0% 8.1%
70/70 5.3% 7.2%
75 6.7% 9.3%
75/75 5.9% 7.9%
80 7.7% 10.6%
80/80 6.5% 9.1%

*Annuity Rates Current as of May 2024

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a separate tax-exempt account into which you transfer your gift. Harvard will serve as trustee, direct the investment of the trust assets, and oversee all legal, accounting and administrative matters.

Harvard can pay you a percentage of the trust’s value as income, typically 5%. As the value of the trust changes, so too does your income.

Alternatively, the trustee can pay you a fixed payment each year, based on a percentage, typically 5%, of the funding amount of the trust.


  • Quarterly income for life; support for your spouse or other beneficiaries
  • Potential for growth of income over time
  • Investment diversification
  • No capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated assets
  • Charitable income tax deduction
  • Gift and estate tax savings
  • Investment management services provided by either Harvard Management Company (the Endowment Strategy) or TIAA Kaspick (the Tax Efficient Strategies) with no separate management fee
  • Significant future support for Harvard’s research and teaching 

Trust Investment Options

Charitable remainder trusts can be invested by Harvard Management Company alongside the Harvard endowment or by TIAA Kaspick in a manner geared to pay income taxed at lower rates. Please contact us for an overview of the investment strategies.


  • Gift minimums are $150,000 for trusts with beneficiaries age 50 and older, and $250,000 for trusts with beneficiaries 45–49 years old.
  • You can donate a wide variety of assets to a unitrust—cash, publicly traded securities, closely held stock, real estate, art, antiques, collections, or intangible assets such as royalties. 

Pooled Income Funds

Pooled income funds consist of gifts from multiple donors that are combined into a trust invested for Harvard by TIAA Kaspick. Pooled income funds offer you income and tax benefits and ultimately support the work of the University.

A pooled income fund gift entitles you and/or your beneficiary to your proportional share of the quarterly income of the fund for life. On the death of the last income beneficiary, the principal of your gift will be used by Harvard.


  • Quarterly income for life
  • Support for your spouse or other beneficiaries
  • Charitable income tax deduction
  • Avoidance of capital gains tax
  • Gift and estate tax savings
  • Future support for Harvard 

Harvard Pooled Income Funds

  • Harvard Life Return Fund: Seeks to earn a sustained high rate of income over the long term and is invested primarily in fixed-income mutual funds.
  • Harvard Growth Fund: Generates modest income and seeks long-term growth of principal. The fund invests primarily in domestic equity securities.
  • Harvard Balanced Fund: Combines the strategies of the other two funds, and offers a moderate level of current income as well as opportunities for long-term growth of both principal and income.


  • A gift to a pooled income fund can be funded with cash or marketable securities.
  • Each of the funds requires a minimum initial gift of $25,000.
  • The minimum age for beneficiaries is 50 years old for the Life Return Fund, 25 for the Growth Fund, and 40 for the Balanced Fund. 

Request a Personal Gift Illustration

To request a personal gift illustration, Please contact a Harvard Planned Giving Professional or use our electronic form. You may also reach us at 800-446-1277 or by emailing

Contact University Planned Giving

Please contact our office for information on gift strategies that can help you support Harvard’s teaching and research and provide significant benefits to you and your family. 

124 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 800-446-1277 
or 617-495-4647
Fax: 617-495-8130
Tax I.D. #: ‌04‑210‑3580

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Gift Strategies

Gift Strategies Spring 2022 PDF