Giving 101

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You Can Help Move Mechanical Engineering and The Clark School Forward

Here's how you can participate

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To learn more about how you can give, contact:

Natalie Grandison
Director of External Relations
2102B Glenn L. Martin Hall

Gifts to the Department of Mechanical Engineering can be made in a variety of ways. There are many types of assets that can be donated, and there are multi-year payment schedules and tax benefiting structures for major gifts.

What type of assets can you give?

Funds in the form of a check, money order or credit card is an easy way to benefit students, faculty, and programs. Many people provide support to the Mechanical Engineering Gift Fund. These unrestricted funds allow for the “extras” that are needed to run large educational and research programs beyond what the state and tuition provides. It is also the most flexible and immediate gift for the Department to use. Donors of gifts $1,000 or more annually are members of The Colonnade Society.

Gifts of non-cash assets are increasingly popular since they do not affect cash flow. Many times people inherit assets and use non-cash donations to reduce their tax burden. The University of Maryland is able to efficiently and quickly process non-cash gifts and they can provide long-term financial planning benefits while providing the Department with a long long-term revenue source.

Common non-cash assets are:
  • Securities and Stocks: Stocks are a convenient non-cash gift. The transactions can be handled by you directly or by a financial representative. Donating securities and stocks have multiple benefits that vary with each individual's portfolio.
  • Land, real estate, and personal property: Gifts of property can result in important tax savings. When you make gifts of property, certain value appraisals are required. These transactions will be handled by you in conjunction with your legal representative. University of Maryland staff members can assist you with these arrangements, clarifying the options and honoring the intentions with your gift.

Current Use vs. Endowments

Current use accounts are set up for gifts that will be spent upon their arrival. An example of a current use account is the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Scholarship Fund. The Fund is evaluated twice a year by the Scholarships/Fellowships committee, and they disperse funds that are available in the account, which is an accumulation of the past six month’s donations. Replenishing these funds is critical as scholarship support is only provided when it is available and amounts vary year to year.

Endowments are bound by legal parameters that are governed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Many donors have chosen to form endowments because the endowment allows their generous gifts to grow over time. Imagine knowing that long after you are gone, the legacy of your generosity will still be providing scholarships for students at the University of Maryland.

Endowment gifts are placed in a University of Maryland College Park Foundation account dedicated to the individual donor’s scholarship (or other project based on the donor’s intent) and invested. The percentage of return varies from year to year reflecting the investment performance.

Estate or Planned Gifts

Many people develop a personal philanthropic dream over the course their lifetime. By setting up an estate gift, donors can provide for a major charitable donation that may have been impossible during their lives. Knowing that your life’s work will result in a significant positive impact on your alma mater instills tremendous pride in many members of the University’s Founders Society.

The Founders Society honors all benefactors, living and deceased, whose gift through will, trust, or other planned gifts—such as a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, charitable lead trust, life estate, etc.—help to ensure the future excellence and impact of the University of Maryland and its students.

Estate gifts to the Department can be structured to provide income streams immediately. Bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts and pooled income funds are all types of planned gifts. You may also name the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a beneficiary of an IRA, 401k or insurance policy. The University of Maryland has resources in its Office of Planned Giving that can help you and your financial advisor to maximize the benefits to you and the College.

Please contact your financial and tax professional to further discuss which option best suits your needs.

Questions? Please send an send ane-mail to or call one of our development staff.