Skip to Content

Planned Giving

2019 GW Legacy Challenge

Description of the Program
The 2019 GW Legacy Challenge is a matching gift program that enables GW alumni and friends to have an immediate impact when they make planned gifts to support to the university (e.g. via bequests in a will or living trust, retirement plan beneficiary designations, etc.). When you document a planned gift to GW, you can immediately direct 2019 GW Legacy Challenge matching funds to a purpose that resonates with you, such as scholarships or support for a specific school or program. For every $10 of your pledged planned gift, $1 of Legacy Challenge matching funds (with a cap of $10,000) will be directed to the GW purpose you select.

Make an impact now by documenting your planned gift today! As of January 1, 2019, we have a pool of $1,000,000 in unrestricted matching funds that are available on a first come, first served basis to any donor who documents a planned gift. The GW Legacy Challenge program will end on either December 31, 2019, or when the matching funds have been depleted, whichever comes first.


Office of Planned Giving
The George Washington University
2033 K St, NW, Suite 300 • Washington, DC 20052
877-498-7590 •


Q: What types of planned gifts qualify for the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge?
A: Planned gifts eligible for matching funds include: bequests via will or living trust, beneficiary designations from a retirement account or bank account, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and beneficiary designations of a life insurance policy given to GW (the match would be based on the existing cash amount in the policy). If you want to know if your gift qualifies for a match, please email or call 877-498-7590.

Q: If I have already documented a planned gift with GW, will it qualify for the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge?
A: Thank you very much for documenting your planned gift with GW. Generally speaking, the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge is meant to encourage the creation of new planned gifts or to inform the university about previously established but unreported planned gifts. However, if you have increased the amount of a previously documented bequest, or if you previously documented the gift of a percentage of your trust or residual estate and the estimated value of that percentage has more than doubled, then we may be able to credit the increased value to the Challenge. To confirm that your gift qualifies for a match, please email

Q: How do I document my planned gift for the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge?
A: You can document your planned gift by submitting a 2019 GW Legacy Challenge Gift Confirmation form, which you can download HERE. Print the document, fill it out, and return it via email to or via mail to the Office of Planned Giving at the George Washington University, 2033 K St, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052.

Q: If my bequest will create a future scholarship fund in my name, can the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge matching funds be used for a current use scholarship in my name?
A: Yes, if you have previously established a current use scholarship fund at GW. If not, then 2019 GW Legacy Challenge matching funds for scholarships will be allocated to the Power and Promise fund, which will be used for current use scholarships benefiting any GW school(s) you choose to support.

Q: Can I direct the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge matching funds to a different school or program than where my bequest is directed?
A: Absolutely! That is one of the best features of the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge — the matching funds can be directed to any school, program, or existing endowed fund at GW, and they do not need to follow the same designation of your bequest.

Q: What if the value of my bequest exceeds $100,000 — will I qualify for more than $10,000 matching funds?
A: We have set a cap of $10,000 on matching funds. Since one purpose of the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge is to reward many people for documenting their planned gifts to GW, we do not want to expend all of our matching funds on a small number of large bequests.

Q: How else might I go about supporting GW with my philanthropy?
A: We hope that you will also consider supporting GW by making an annual gift to any area of the university that is meaningful to you. We ask that all donors participating in the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge at least consider an annual gift and require that that they complete this form.

Q: Who made the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge possible?
A: The 2019 GW Legacy Challenge has been made possible by the tremendous generosity of the estates of Joan H. Colbert (CCAS BA’61) and Douglas J. Mitchell (GWSB MA’93).

Q: Has GW done something like this before?
A: Yes, GW conducted its first Legacy Challenge in early 2017 in conjunction with the university’s Making History campaign. That program had $336,000 in matching funds, which yielded $11.1 million in new planned giving commitments! With results that successful, we wanted to offer a second edition to encourage even more GW supporters to take part.

GW Legacy Challenge Gift Confirmation Form
Bequest Language

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the George Washington University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to the George Washington University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2033 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to GW or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GW as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GW as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and GW where you agree to make a gift to GW and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.