Gifts That Cost You Nothing Now

Gifts in a Will and Gifts by Beneficiary Designation are two easy ways to make gifts that will have an impact for generations to come — and they don’t cost anything now.

Gifts in a Will

A gift in your will is one of the easiest ways to create your legacy of impacting the world through life-changing opportunities for deserving students, world-changing scientific discoveries and technological innovations. 

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Achieve your legacy of global impact with these benefits for you:



Costs you nothing now to give in this way.



You can alter your gift or change your mind at any time and for any reason.



Your gift will create your legacy of re-inventing higher education in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

4 simple, “no-cost-now” ways to give in your will

General gift

Leaves a gift of a stated sum of money in your will or living trust. For example, you might decide to leave each of your grandchildren $10,000. It’s considered to be ‘general’ because it doesn’t specify from where the money comes.

Residual gift
Leaves what is left over after all other debts, taxes, and other expenses have been paid.
Specific gift
Leaves a specific dollar amount, percentage, fraction, or specific items (collections, art, books, jewelry, and so on).
Contingent gift
Leaves a stated amount or share only if a spouse, family member or other heir/beneficiary does not live longer than you. In other words, your gift is contingent upon whether or not they survive after you.

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

It’s easy to put your bank accounts, retirement funds, savings bonds, and more to use in creating a world informed and inspired by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — and it costs nothing now.

By naming RPI as a beneficiary of these assets, you power the future of higher education. Your gift impacts people of all backgrounds through RPI and becomes your personal legacy to the world.

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Potential benefits of gifts by beneficiary designation:

Reduce or eliminate taxes on retirement assets


Reduce or avoid probate fees


No cost to you now


Create your legacy with Rensselaer

To name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, contact your administrator to see whether a change of beneficiary form must be completed.

How to Change a Beneficiary Designation

Login to your account or request a Change of Beneficiary Form from your custodian (the business holding your money or assets).

Follow the links to change your beneficiary or fill out the form.


Be sure to spell the name of our organization properly: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Include our tax identification number: 14-1340095


Save or submit your information online or return your Change of Beneficiary Form.

Types of Gifts

A Gift of Retirement Funds (beneficiary of your retirement plan)

You can simply name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a beneficiary of your retirement plan to create your legacy of global impact through Rensselaer.

A gift of funds remaining in your bank accounts, brokerage accounts or certificate of deposit (CD)

This is one of the easiest gifts to give and one of the most useful in accomplishing what you want – supporting our students and faculty. The next time you visit your bank, you can name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Tax ID: 14-1340095) as the beneficiary of a checking or savings bank account, a certificate of deposit (CD), or a brokerage account. When you do, you’ll take a powerful step toward impacting students and the world for generations to come.

Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) residuals

What remains in a donor-advised fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. When you name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a “successor” of your account or a portion of your account value, you build the future of Rensselaer as a top-tier technological research university with global reach and global impact.

Savings Bonds

If you have bonds that have stopped earning interest and you plan to redeem them, you might owe income tax on the appreciation. That could result in your heirs receiving only a fraction of the value of the bonds in which you invested. Since Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a tax-exempt institution, naming us as a beneficiary means that 100% of your gift will go toward our shared mission of impacting the world. 

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Drew Babitts, MBA, CAP®

Drew Babitts, MBA, CAP®

Director, Gift Planning

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute