Ways to Give

Assuring the future of Sacred Heart requires generous contributions in many forms. In addition to cash contributions, there are several other ways to make a charitable gift.

Following are brief descriptions of the different options available for making such gifts. Tax benefits may be derived from each option, so donors should tailor gifts to their specific interests and within their individual financial context. Please note that the information is not intended to provide financial or tax guidance, which individuals must seek from their personal financial advisors.


A gift of cash remains the simplest and most straightforward way to contribute to Sacred Heart. It can be put to work for the school right away and, at the same time, can lower a donor’s taxable income. The higher the rate at which income is taxed, the lower the net cost of the gift to the donor.


Sacred Heart will accept contributions of publicly traded stock, and, in most cases, stock in a closely held corporation, as well as improved or unimproved real estate. By donating gifts of appreciated stock, donors can generally deduct the current fair market value of such property and not pay tax on all the appreciation. For information about gifts of stock, please contact Amanda De Vito at or at 212-722-4745, x. 124.


Pledges may be paid over three years, or, if there are special tax advantages for a donor, over as many as five years.

Matching Gifts

Many employers have a “matching gift” policy that can effectively double, or in some cases, triple, the amount of a contribution of cash or securities by an employee or his or her spouse. Sacred Heart credits the individual donor for the total gift and matching gifts may be used to complete a donor’s pledge. Corporations, partnerships and other entities that make gifts to Sacred Heart may also take a deduction for their contributions. Donors who are business owners may find it advantageous to have their business make a gift directly to Sacred Heart, rather than making it individually.

Deferred Gifts and Bequests

Deferred gifts are trust funds from which income may be paid to the donor during his or her lifetime, with the principal going to Sacred Heart after the donor’s death. A bequest is a gift made under a will, directing that a specific amount or percentage of a donor’s estate, or specific assets, such as stock, real estate or tangible personal property within the estate, be paid to Sacred Heart. Bequests can be restricted to benefit a particular program or unrestricted to cover general needs. They also can be written so that the school is primary or a secondary beneficiary after all other bequests and expenses have been paid.

Donors may enjoy full tax benefits for such contributions, enhancing their own financial situation even as they make a lasting contribution to Sacred Heart. Bequests, expressed either as a specific amount or as a percentage of an estate, may count toward the campaign in certain situations.

All donors who indicate that The Convent of the Sacred Heart is part of estate plans become members of The Acorn Society. Because the name Duchesne means oak, that tree has symbolized Saint Philippine Duchesne’s spirit strength and courage. To honor St. Philippine’s vision of Sacred Heart education in the new world, the acorn is the symbol of those members of the community whose generosity and foresight provide for the future of 91st Street through a will or bequest. Members of the Acorn Society assure the continuation of the vision of St. Philippine into the future.

Life Income Gifts

To make a life income gift, the donor transfers, cash, securities or other capital assets irrevocably to a trust or to Sacred Heart, which are then invested to pay income for life to the donor or any beneficiaries named. Following the death of the last beneficiary, the remainder interest passes to Sacred Heart and can be used for purposes the donor specifies at the time the gift is made. There are different ways life income gifts can be made to Sacred Heart, including a Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust.

Life Insurance

A donor may give an existing life insurance policy, or fund a new one, naming Sacred Heart as a beneficiary. If the donor transfers complete ownership of the policy to Sacred Heart during his or her lifetime, the donor is entitled to an immediate income tax deduction for whichever is less: the cash value of the policy or its cost basis.

Qualified Retirement Plans

By leaving retirement plan assets to Sacred Heart, donors can save taxes and make a major gift to the school at a very low actual cost. For example, a donor can name Sacred Heart as a beneficiary of plan assets upon the death of the surviving spouse (and like a will, this designation can be altered if circumstances change). It can also be advantageous from a tax perspective for a donor to name a charitable remainder trust as the plan’s beneficiary, providing income to be paid to family members and the remainder to Sacred Heart.

Real Estate

Commercial property, a personal residence or other real estate assets can be given to Sacred Heart, allowing the donor to realize a tax deduction, avoid capital gains tax, and even retain lifetime occupancy. A gift of appreciated real property, free of debt and owned for more than one year, can provide the donor with a tax deduction. By donating real estate instead of selling it, donors may also save state and local transfer taxes.

For questions about making any kind of planned gift to Sacred Heart, please contact Craig MacPherson at or at 212-722-4745, ext. 107.

I teach because I want to be part of an intellectual force that encourages students to be the best of what they are in the present. The learning environment at Sacred Heart encourages each student to express and develop her unique talents on the journey toward self-realization. Sacred Heart nurtures the mind, the spirit and the heart."

Upper School History Teacher