Gift planning is a creative process that allows you to make charitable contributions in ways that maximize your philanthropic goals while minimizing cost.

Your gift will enrich the lives of current and future patients, and can create a family legacy that lasts for generations.


  • A current charitable income tax deduction
  • Guaranteed lifetime income for you and/or a loved one
  • Savings on capital gains, income, gift and estate taxes

Estate Plans Bequest Language

If you wish to remember Cleveland Clinic in your estate plans, see example of bequest language below:

I give and bequeath to The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, (the sum of $___ or ___%) to support its exempt purposes (or insert name of program or project).

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Creative gifts of assets can offer more tax-friendly ways to support Cleveland Clinic. Outright gifts include check, transferring securities, or signing a multi-year pledge.

Current & Outright Gifts

Supporter Spotlight: Josephine Haywood

Types of Assets
  • Cash
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Real estate
  • Tangible personal property (art, jewelry)
  • Life insurance policy
  • Retirement plan assets and/or IRAs
  • Business and/or partnership interests

By making a gift of appreciated assets — such as securities or real estate — you will receive a charitable deduction on your income taxes and avoid taxes on the capital gains portion of your donated assets. Simply put, a $10,000 donation of an appreciated asset offers greater tax savings than a $10,000 cash donation.

Gift Receipts

To receive a charitable deduction for the current year’s taxes, gifts must be made on or before December 31. Gift dates are determined by postmark, date of hand delivery, date of credit card authorization, or date an electronic transfer enters Cleveland Clinic’s account.

Deferred gifts happen at a date in the future, selected by you; life income gifts pay you and/or your spouse an income for life.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Supporter Spotlight: Iris & Mort November

Charitable Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity is a simple agreement in which we promise to pay you, or you and your spouse, a lifetime income in exchange for a gift of an asset. The payment is fixed at the time you establish the gift and can be paid to you in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust is generally used when there are multiple beneficiaries. This can provide income to you, you and your spouse, or you, your spouse and your children for life or for a term of years, in exchange for a gift. The payment can be fixed (annuity trust) or variable, based on the year-end market value of the trust (unitrust).

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust may appeal to individuals who wish to make a gift but retain the property in their family. You can establish a lead trust that provides income to Cleveland Clinic over a set period. At the end of the trust term, the assets either are returned to you or distributed among family. The principal advantage of this type of gift is that it can significantly reduce or even eliminate gift or estate taxes.

Retained Life Estate

A retained life estate is a gift plan that allows you to donate a home (or farm) to Cleveland Clinic while retaining the right to live in it for the rest of your life. Donating the remainder interest in a personal residence provides you with a current charitable deduction and may allow reduction or elimination of capital gains tax on the property’s appreciation. You retain the right to live on the property, but continue to be responsible for all routine expenses — maintenance fees, insurance, property taxes, repairs, etc.

Testamentary gifts occur after your lifetime.


Supporter Spotlight: Margaret Whittemore


After you have provided for your family and loved ones, a bequest in your will would enable you to make a gift to support your favorite medical area or program.

A general bequest designates that Cleveland Clinic receive a specified dollar amount. For example: "I bequeath to The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, the sum of $100,000 to be used for its exempt purposes."

Life Insurance

You can make a gift to Cleveland Clinic of your paid-up life insurance policy, or you could buy a new policy and name Cleveland Clinic as the owner and beneficiary.

With a gift of paid-up life insurance policy, you can deduct the cash value of the policy at the time of the gift. With the purchase of a new policy, you would establish the policy and then transfer ownership to Cleveland Clinic.

If there are premium payments that remain, you could make annual gifts to Cleveland Clinic to help cover the cost of the premium, which also would be tax-deductible to you.

Retirement Plan Assets

As with a life insurance gift, naming Cleveland Clinic as a beneficiary designation can offer you significant value. Due to applicable estate and income taxes, family members usually only receive 25 to 30% of the value of an IRA or retirement plan.

Much of this tax can be avoided if the assets are instead used to fund a bequest to Cleveland Clinic.

Endowments create permanent support for chairmanships, fellowships, special departmental funds and lectureships. They also provide for the possibility of attracting strong, vital talent to Cleveland Clinic.


A named chair provides a source of income enabling a chairholder to pursue innovative programs and efforts.


Endowed fellowships often are used to help recruit and retain young talent and create training and research opportunities.


Endowed lecture funds bring visiting professors or lecturers to share their unique perspective and knowledge.

Research and Education

Endowed funds can be designated to support individuals who demonstrate exceptional abilities in research and education. Endowed scholarships support medical students attending Cleveland Clinic's Lerner College of Medicine.

Departmental Funds

Endowed departmental funds support initiatives and priorities of the department and provide funding that otherwise would not be available to the department.

Please note that minimum gift amounts apply when establishing endowments.

Your and your family can build a legacy that reflects its values now and in the future.

Cleveland Clinic offers both endowed (distribution of income only for charitable purposes, but not principal) and non-endowed (distribution of both principal and income for charitable purposes) funds.

Named Fund

Named funds can carry any name that you choose, can be established to honor or memorialize someone special to you, and can be restricted to a particular medical area, department or program, or unrestricted for the area of greatest need at Cleveland Clinic.


A chair is a philanthropic fund that provides discretionary money to support the patient care, research, and education priorities of a physician and his or her medical institute. Becoming a chairholder carries the utmost prestige at Cleveland Clinic.

Endowed Chair

The original philanthropic contribution is directed by the founding contributor to exist in perpetuity and make annual distributions to support a physician or project.

Term Chair

The original philanthropic contribution is available for expenditure in its entirety over the term of the chair. A minimum term is five years, after which it may be renewed or converted to an endowed chair.

Family Philanthropic Fund

This fund provides flexibility in allowing families the opportunity to designate different areas of support over the life of the fund. The fund will make annual distributions to the area your family chooses, and at the end of each two-year period, your family may change its designated area of support.

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