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Planned Giving

Supporting Those Who Serve

Mary H. Grant

Knowing a material gift wouldn’t be right for her sister and brother-in-law, Mary H. Grant endowed a scholarship at GW to honor their military service and help future Navy ROTC students.

Mary H. Grant, CCAS MPhil, PhD, credits her experience at GW for providing the foundation for a rewarding career in teaching in and leading schools for girls. After she retired, though, she wanted to find a way to give back to the institution that had given her so much, while also honoring loved ones — and doubling the power of her gift.

“Because we had long been interested in the Yellow Ribbon program at GW, my husband and I decided that our planned gift would honor my sister, Susan, and our brother-in-law, Capt. John B. Ahart (Ret.),” Grant says. “Thirty years of service in the U.S. Navy meant that Jack and Susan became true global citizens, and they always embodied the part of military service in which you lend a helping hand to others. GW let us do something that would reflect their convictions and continue their traditions.”

Grant wanted to honor her sister and brother-in-law’s selflessness and belief in service. Since her sister did not like to accumulate possessions, however, finding the perfect gift proved difficult. “It was just more stuff they would have to get rid of the next time they moved,” Grant laughs.

After much thought, she decided the most meaningful thing she could do for the couple would be to give back to those who have already given so much through their military service. She combined this interest with her own devotion to education that came from a career teaching history and government and serving as a senior administrator in several all-girls’ schools across the Northeast.

Through a planned gift, she established the Grant-Ahart Navy ROTC Prize, an endowed prize awarded annually to an undergraduate Navy ROTC student, with a preference for those interested in international affairs.

Grant’s commitment also aligns with GW’s dedication to serving its more than 1,800 military students, among the largest such populations of any private university in the United States. In order to enhance the experiences of veterans and military students, GW has a customized military student orientation, and dedicated career education and development resources, as well as an on-campus military community center.

Grant was also able to take advantage of the first GW Legacy Challenge when she finalized her bequest in 2017. “The Legacy Challenge was important to me since it allowed me to [increase] the impact I could have on veterans at GW,” she explains. Matching dollars went immediately to the Yellow Ribbon Program, which funds tuition expenses not covered by the GI Bill, helping military and veteran students gain access to a world-class GW education.

“A gift through the Legacy Challenge is the best kind of gift,” says Grant. “It allows you to make an impact that you might not be able to make alone. By joining with others, our gifts can have a substantial impact for good, not only on our alma mater, but also on the world.”

If you are interested in increasing the impact of your planned gift like Dr. Grant, learn more about the 2019 GW Legacy Challenge, or contact Courtney Tsai, JD, CAP ® at or 877-498-7590.

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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 1922 F Street NW, 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.

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