The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

Planned Giving

Did you know that you can…..

  • Arrange a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime? 
  • Receive quarterly income for life in return for your gift?
  • Give an asset you no longer need, such as life insurance, a collection, or a vacation home? 

Such gifts are called “planned gifts” because with thoughtful planning, you can choose from financial options that help you accomplish one or more personal goals while supporting the Academy. 

If you are interested in making a planned gift, we can help you tailor a bequest, evaluate a life income arrangement, or expedite gifts of assets such as real estate, business interest, life insurance, and art collections. Please contact Mimi Koelle at 610-971-4919 or

Gifts That Cost Nothing During Your Lifetime

Designate Notre Dame as a beneficiary of your will, retirement plan, or life insurance policy.  

Bequests, or gifts by will, are simple and flexible. Bequests leave you in control of your assets throughout your lifetime, and you can modify your gift to address changing circumstances. Through a bequest you can establish a legacy, honor a loved one, and benefit generations of Notre Dame students.

How it Works
Explain to your attorney that you’d like to include Notre Dame in your will or revocable trust. If your will is already written, you can add the school as a beneficiary by instructing your attorney to add an amendment called a codicil to your will. You can indicate a specific amount, a percentage of the balance remaining in your estate, or even a specific asset. If you’d like to direct your bequest to a specific purpose or program, please consult with the Advancement Office to ensure that your gift will be used as you intend. 

Bequests are frequently unrestricted. It is Notre Dame’s policy to add unrestricted bequests to the permanent endowment. Each year a modest percentage (currently 4%) of the endowment value is used for current school operations and helps the school attract and support a superb faculty, provide financial aid to qualified students, and keep tuition increases to a minimum. The principal is preserved to serve the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur for generations to come.

Click here for Sample Bequest Language


  • Specifying a percentage of your estate for charitable giving will ensure that the Academy receives the share you intended, regardless of how the value of your estate changes over time.
  • Be sure to tell us about your bequest intention. We want to thank you and welcome you into the Saint Julie Society.

Beneficiary Designations
Life insurance proceeds and the remaining balance in IRAs, pension plans, bank and brokerage accounts are distributed at the end of your lifetime via a beneficiary designation form.  Beneficiary designations offer you the flexibility of a bequest but are even simpler for you to put in place. 

How to Change a Life Insurance Beneficiary
Simply designate Notre Dame as a partial or full beneficiary of the death benefit by completing a Change of Beneficiary Form from your insurer. Per your instructions, Notre Dame will receive all or a portion of the death benefit. In the meantime, you will retain ownership of the policy and the flexibility to change your beneficiary designation later if your circumstances change. Policy proceeds will pass tax free to the school, and your estate will receive a deduction for the full amount of your gift. 

How to Change a Retirement Plan Beneficiary
To name the Academy of Notre Dame to receive all or a portion of what remains at the end of your lifetime in an IRA (regardless of the type of IRA) or other qualified retirement plan, fill out a Change of Beneficiary Form provided by your plan administrator. You will receive distributions from your retirement plan throughout your life, after which Notre Dame will receive its share of the remaining balance tax free. 

Why Retirement Plan Assets are a Prudent Choice 
Qualified retirement plan assets are among the most tax-burdened assets you can own. If you die before you have taken all distributions from your IRA, 401(k), Keogh, SEP, or other qualified retirement plan, the balance remaining in your plan can be subject to federal income and estate taxes that can claim 50% or more of its value. Though you can roll over your qualified retirement plan to your surviving spouse without incurring estate tax, income and estate tax will apply when distributed to other individuals. When distributed to a tax-exempt charity like the Academy of Notre Dame, however, no income tax will be due. If your estate plan calls for benefiting both individuals and charities, consider using retirement plan assets to make charitable gifts and earmark other assets for individuals.

Gifts That Provide Lifetime Income

Receive income and tax benefits while giving to Notre Dame.

Charitable Remainder Trust 

A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a powerful engine for benefiting yourself, your heirs, and the Academy of Notre Dame. It provides you and/or other beneficiaries you name with a stream of income for life or a period of years. After the trust terminates, the accumulated principal or “remainder interest” goes to the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur.  

How it works

You can use almost any asset to fund a CRT, including cash, appreciated securities, real estate, or business interests. You can choose to receive variable or fixed income beginning immediately for life or any term of years you specify, or you can choose to defer income to sometime in the future. You can choose from two basic types of CRTs. 

Unitrust (CRUT): pays a variable income (typically between 5-6% per year) based on a fixed percentage of the trust assets as revalued once each year. Your interest can increase if the trust principal grows over time.

Annuity Trust (CRAT): pays a fixed annual income determined at the outset, often preferred by those who are interested in the security of a constant return.

Other advantages

  • You avoid all capital gains tax on any appreciated assets that you contribute to a CRT.
  • You receive a substantial charitable income tax deduction in the year of the gift.
  • You can name multiple charities as remainder beneficiaries.
  • You can add to your CRT at any time (unitrusts only).
  • Any assets you contribute to a CRT are removed from your estate, reducing your estate tax liability.
  • You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are benefiting future generations of Academy students.

Charitable Gift Annuity 

A charitable gift annuity (CGA) offers you an opportunity to increase your cash flow, avoid substantial capital gain taxes, and make a generous gift to the future of the Academy of Notre Dame. A gift annuity is a simple contract between you and the school. In exchange for your gift of cash or stock, Notre Dame makes fixed quarterly income payments for life to you, you and your spouse, or someone you name. Income beneficiaries must be 68 or older. Rates are based on life expectancy; the older the income beneficiary, the higher the rate. Annuity payments are partially tax free, and you will receive an immediate income tax deduction for the value of the remainder that will support Notre Dame. The Advancement Office can quantify all of these benefits in a personalized illustration that you and your advisor can review before you make your decision.

Other advantages

  • A Notre Dame CGA can be funded with as little as $10,000.
  • The Academy of Notre Dame sets up and manages your CGA at no cost to you.
  • CGAs pay attractive rates compared to bank accounts, certificates of deposit, and stock dividends.
  • Your income payments are fixed and guaranteed by the assets of the Academy.

Gifts of Special Assets

Convert property to charitable support. 

Paid-Up Life Insurance
If you are carrying more insurance coverage than you now require, donating a paid-up life insurance policy can enable you to convert the cash value in the policy into generous support of your choosing, whether a capital campaign or the annual fund.

How it works:

  1. You designate Notre Dame as the owner of an existing paid-up policy with accumulated cash value. The Advancement Office can help you complete the insurance company forms.
  2. As new owner, Notre Dame can elect to hold or surrender the policy for its cash value.
  3. You are entitled to claim a current income tax deduction for approximately the cash surrender value of the policy.

Real Estate 
Charitable gifts of real estate—including personal residences, commercial buildings, farms and parcels of land— can save you thousands of dollars in income, estate, and capital gains taxes. You may gift your whole property or a percentage of your property (called an “undivided fractional interest”) and take an income tax deduction for the appraised value. Or, you can donate your property and take an income tax deduction but retain the right to live in it for the rest of your life (called a “Retained Life Estate”). Of course, estate-related gifts of real estate through your will or revocable trust are also welcome. Contact us for more information.

  • Income tax deduction for the fair market value of the transferred real estate
  • Reduced or no capital gains tax
  • Significant gift to the Academy

Business Interests
Gifts of business interests—such as stock in a closely held corporation, S-corporation stock, shares in a professional corporation, or partnership interests—are a second “pocket” from which business owners can give. When you make a gift of business interests, you will receive a charitable deduction and may be able to use the assets to fund certain types of life income gifts, such as a charitable remainder unitrust. Alternately, you may use your business interests to create a charitable lead trust that provides Notre Dame with income now and returns any remainder to your heirs. In most cases, a gift of business interests will require an independent appraisal. Your interest must be transferable and not encumbered by debt. Please contact the Advancement Office to discuss your plans.

Tangible Personal Property 
Gifts of valuable personal property—such as paintings, antiques, jewelry, silver, and coin collections—can benefit both you and the Academy of Notre Dame. Such gifts, if they qualify under IRS “related use” rules, can result in an income tax deduction for their full appraised value. Contact the Advancement Office for more information.