Planned Giving

Planned Giving

You can make a lasting contribution to future generations by designating The Spence School as a beneficiary of your estate plan through a bequest, charitable trust, retirement plan or insurance policy. By doing this, you can make a significant gift to Spence to assure its future — while also possibly providing tax benefits for yourself and your family. Unless you designate otherwise, all planned gifts will be added to the school’s board-designated endowment, when received, to ensure that your gift supports the School in perpetuity.

By making a planned gift, you are invited to join The 1892 Society. The 1892 Society was established by three Heads of School in Spence’s centennial year to recognize individuals and families who choose to provide for the future of the School by including Spence in their estate plans. Society members play an essential role in ensuring Spence’s continued financial health and tradition of academic excellence.
Please contact Emily Stone, Director of Development, at 212-710-8131 or with any questions, or to request more information. All inquiries are confidential.


A gift to The Spence School in your will or revocable trust will allow the School to continue to educate young women for many years to come. A bequest:
  • Is easy to arrange
  • Will not alter your current lifestyle in any way
  • Can be easily modified to address your changing needs

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  • Sample Bequest Language

    Specific Bequest
    Naming The Spence School a beneficiary of a specific amount from your estate is easy:

    “I give and devise to The Spence School, currently located at 22 East 91st Street, New York, New York, the sum of $___________ (or description of specific property) to be used for its general purposes (or for the support of a specific fund or program).”

Gifts That Cost You Nothing Over A Lifetime

There are many ways to support Spence’s future that do not affect you and your family during your lifetime. Although including a bequest to Spence in your estate plan is one way to leave a legacy, there are other arrangements, similar to bequests, which are simple, straightforward and accomplish the same goal.

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  • Bequests (Gifts by Will or Living Trust)

    Bequests are a flexible planning tool that may be the ideal way for you to meet your personal objectives while also supporting The Spence School. You can provide now for a future gift to Spence by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable living trust.
  • Gifts from Your Retirement Plan

    Gifts of IRAs, 401(k)s, or other qualified plans are popular planned gifts because they require no “upfront” cash. You simply designate The Spence School as the beneficiary of all or a portion of your retirement plan through your plan administrator. You can continue to take withdrawals during your lifetime and even change the beneficiary if your circumstances change. After your lifetime, the residue of your plan passes to Spence tax-free.

    Benefits Include:
    • You can escape both income AND estate tax levied on the residue left in your retirement account by leaving it to Spence
    • Give the most-taxed asset in your estate to Spence and leave more favorably taxed property to your heirs
    • You can continue to take withdrawals during your lifetime
    • You can revoke Spence as a beneficiary if your circumstances change
    • You have the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Spence later on
  • Gifts of Life Insurance

    Life insurance can be used in several ways to make a lasting gift to Spence.

    1. You can simply designate The Spence School as the beneficiary (or contingent beneficiary) of an existing life insurance policy – and continue to own the policy as before.
    Benefits Include:
    • You part with nothing during your lifetime
    • You continue to own the policy and retain the right to change beneficiaries
    • If insurance proceeds are paid to Spence after your lifetime, your estate may be entitled to tax benefits because of the gift

    1. Alternatively, you can transfer ownership of a paid-up life insurance policy to Spence, making Spence the owner and irrevocable beneficiary of the policy. We will either cash the policy immediately, or maintain it and receive the death benefit later.

    Benefits Include:
    • You make a gift using an asset that you and your family no longer need
    • You receive an immediate income tax deduction for the (approximate) cash surrender value of the policy
    • You have the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Spence without affecting your cash flow

Gifts That Pay You Back

Gifts that pay lifetime income may have many benefits: Dependable income for you and your family, current and future tax savings, and an important way to support Spence. Life income gifts can be an excellent way to balance your personal and philanthropic goals.

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  • Charitable Lead Trust

    A charitable lead trust is an arrangement that allows you to provide an income to The Spence School for a specified length of time, after which the trust assets pass to your heirs.

    A charitable lead trust is an arrangement that allows you to provide an income to The Spence School for a specified length of time, after which the trust assets pass to your heirs.

    To establish a charitable lead trust, you contribute securities or other appreciating assets to a trustee of your choice – who will invest the assets and make “income” payments to Spence. The annual payments to Spence can be either a fixed amount (Charitable Lead Annuity Trust) or a variable amount (Charitable Lead Unitrust), depending upon your wishes, goals and desires. When the trust ends, the remaining trust principal passes to family members or other beneficiaries you have named. This kind of lead trust is technically called a “Non-Grantor Lead Trust.”

    Benefits Include:
    • The present value of the income payments to Spence may reduce your gift/estate tax liability
    • All appreciation that takes place in the trust goes tax-free to your heirs when the trust ends
    • You have the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Spence now that reduces the taxes due on transfers to your heirs later on
    This information about planned giving is provided solely for educational purposes. Please consult your own legal and financial advisors before making a major gift to make sure that any particular gift plan is appropriate for you.

  • Charitable Remainder Trust

    A charitable remainder trust is an arrangement that allows you to provide an income to yourself or others for life (or a term of years), after which the trust assets go to The Spence School to help educate Spence students for years to come.

IRA Rollover - Good News!

The recently signed legislation, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, permanently extends the IRA Charitable Rollover Provision. The provision allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income.
A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


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