The front entrance of Kettering University's Campus Center.

Gift Planning

We are prepared to help you plan your gift using charitable giving strategies that will fulfill your philanthropic goals to impact future generations of Kettering students. Kettering University is equipped to receive and steward planned gifts such as bequests through your Will or Trust, IRA charitable remainder distributions, donor advised funds (DAFs), charitable gift annuities, donation of stocks and appreciated securities, real estate, charitable remainder trusts as well as charitable lead trusts.

We encourage you to contact the Office of Major and Giving at (800) 955-4464 with your questions. We can prepare gift illustrations (e.g. Charitable Remainder Trust, Charitable Gift Annuity, Lead Trust) at no obligation for you to review with your financial advisor and/or attorney.

What is a Bequest?   

A bequest is a gift in your Will or Trust to Kettering University, and it is exempt from federal estate taxes.  You can designate it to the Kettering Gift Fund (a discretionary fund available for the University to move forward with unanticipated opportunities) or a specific purpose such as student scholarship, research or faculty support.   There are several types of bequests.

Different Types of a Bequest

Fixed Amount

A fixed amount involves a gift of a specific asset such as real estate, a car, other property or a gift for a specific dollar amount.  For example, you may consider leaving a set amount (i.e., $50,000) to Kettering University or you may leave your home, other real estate, or other tangible asset to Kettering University.  (NOTE: Kettering University’s policy is to sell properties upon receipt, with the proceeds given to the University.)

Percentage Bequest 

Rather than leaving a fixed amount/asset, you may decide to give a specific percentage of your estate to the University.  This can be in the form of leaving a percentage of your estate valued at the time of your death or a percentage of your residual estate (after other specific bequests have been honored). For example, you may wish to leave 10% of your overall estate to Kettering University that, at the time of your gift, is valued at $100,000.

Contingent Bequest

By listing Kettering University as a contingent beneficiary, your gift will go to the University after a certain event occurs – i.e., the death of a spouse.      

Bequest Language

We encourage you to speak with your attorney for the appropriate language to include in your Will of Trust.  Below is sample bequest language.

I give and devise to Kettering University, Flint, Michigan that sum of $ (or state percentage of identified assets available for distribution) to be held, administered and used by the Board of Trustees for support of Kettering University in the area of greatest opportunity “Kettering Gift Fund” (or designated to a scholarship, department or research area) at Kettering University. 

I instruct that all of my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes “income in respect of a decedent” as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.


The Legacy of Walter Schilling ’67

Walter Schilling, Class of 1967

Kettering University recently received an incredibly generous gift of $1,000,000 from the late Walter Schilling ’67, IE.  One of four children, Walter was raised on a farm in Iowa and, without the University’s co-op experience, he would not have been able to afford college. Thanks to Walter’s deep appreciation for his education and industry experiences at GMI/Kettering University, a future Kettering student will now have the opportunity to become Kettering Built with a scholarship covering tuition and room and board.  

To learn more about making a gift from your Will or Trust to Kettering University, please contact the Office of Major and Planned Gifts at (800) 955-4464. 

Watch a recent Kettering University-hosted session about Wills and Trusts >

Appreciated securities

Receive one of the IRS’s most significant tax benefits for gifts of appreciated securities.  You will avoid long-term capital gains tax. 

Retirement Plans

Donate your remaining retirement plan assets directly to the University by making Kettering University a direct beneficiary of your 401k, 403b or other account or to a Charitable Remainder Trust.  A gift through a Charitable Remainder Trust maximizes your heirs’ inheritance while benefitting Kettering.   

Donor Advised Funds (DAF)

Recommend a gift to Kettering from your Donor Advised Fund. Create a legacy by naming Kettering as a beneficiary when the DAF is dissolved.


With the recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most donors do not have a required minimum distribution from their retirement plan in 2020. Minimum distributions will not be required from IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and most other defined contribution plans maintained by an employer for individuals. Minimum distributions that have already started are still required from defined benefit pension plans and some 457 plans. However, required minimum distributions that would have had to start in 2020 don’t have to start until 2021, including distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans.

Donors who are 70½ or older, however, can still consider transferring up to $100,000 annually as a Charitable Remainder Distribution from an IRA (traditional and Roth) to Kettering. To start the process, please notify your IRA custodian to make a direct transfer of the distribution amount which counts toward the required minimum distribution.  For long term planners, consider designating Kettering University as a beneficiary of your IRA.  

Life Insurance

Transfer ownership of a life insurance policy with a cash value of $10,000 or more, and Kettering University will immediately benefit from your generosity.  Make a large future gift with little cost and receive current (and possibly future) income tax deductions by transferring ownership of your policy to Kettering.

Real Estate and/or Personal Property

Current or future gifts of residential, commercial, farm or undeveloped real estate, books, artwork or equipment will provide the donor with a charitable deduction based on the appraise value of the item(s).

Business Interests

Give Kettering an interest in a closely held or family business.

Partnership Interests

Transfer an interest in a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) Limited Liability Company (LLC). Please contact your attorney for more information. 


How can we help?

You can leave your legacy at Kettering University by making a bequest through a Will or a Trust or through current assets or both!  Whatever option works best for you and family, please let us know.  We would be happy to work with you, your attorney, and/or financial planner to help you identify ways to give and meet your philanthropic objectives. 


Please contact us at (800) 955-4464 if you have any questions about how to make a bequest to Kettering University.

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Kettering University’s Tax ID number is 38-2410852.