Major Gifts

UNLV is a state-assisted university; only about one-third of our funding comes from public sources. Major gifts of $25,000 and more are vital resources that provide students, faculty, and the entire university community the opportunity to adapt the traditional values of higher education to local, regional, national, and international needs.

Major gifts to UNLV include gifts of cash, gifts of appreciated property, personal property, gifts-in-kind, and gifts through estate plans. Private support for the following programs has exponential impact as it helps UNLV leverage its most valuable skills — teaching, research, and service — as it funds the following academic opportunities:

  • Endowed professorships
  • Department chairs
  • Scholarships
  • Fellowships
  • Research activities
  • New facilities or building renovations

The UNLV Foundation is pleased to recognize donors who have made significant gifts to the university in our cumulative giving programs. Each year, we honor these donors at our Annual Dinner gala, a special event for our invited guests and members of the Palladium Society, Gold Medallion Society, Silver Medallion Society, and Benefactor Society.

Gifts of Cash

Cash donations are the most direct and simple way to make a charitable gift to UNLV. Funds are immediately available to support the university, and your gift is tax-deductible in the year it is made.

You may designate your gift for a specific purpose, or you may choose to make your gift unrestricted to be used in the area of greatest need.

Gifts of Appreciated Property

While cash gifts have many advantages, a donor may also wish to consider giving other types of assets to UNLV. Gifts of certain types of appreciated assets, such as securities and real estate, are very popular and may provide the donor with even greater tax benefits if held long term (more than one year) than a gift of a comparable amount of cash. While the donor continues to benefit from a charitable deduction for the full, fair-market value of the gift, there is an additional benefit because the tax on the unrealized gain in the gifted property is avoided.

Personal Property

Donors may also choose to gift an item of personal property, such as art works or special collections, books, and rare and unique items. Provided the gift asset is used for the university's charitable purposes, the full market value of such a gift is deductible for the donor; otherwise, it is limited to its adjusted cost basis. Before the university can accept a gift of property, UNLV must ascertain that the type of gift is consistent with the mission and purposes of the institution.

Due to the favorable tax treatment of gifts of tangible personal property, with proper planning, such a gift may result in a larger capital gains tax savings than other long-term appreciated property. Our staff is available to work with your advisors on planning such a gift so you realize the maximum tax benefits.

Gifts-in-Kind and Gifts-of-Service

Gifts-in-kind, sometimes referred to as nonmonetary gifts, are of substantial value to the university. Many times, items or services donated to UNLV can greatly enhance its mission without direct cost to the university. Gifts of this type may include specialized equipment for student and research use; book collections for use in the UNLV Libraries; professional services generally budgeted as a university expense; and other nonmonetary items used in campus facilities, operations, or academic settings.

These gifts are often tax-deductible as donations to UNLV; however, gifts-of-service may be subject to different IRS tax regulations, and each gift is accepted and considered with this in mind. Before the university can accept a gift-in-kind, UNLV must ascertain that the type of gift is consistent with the mission and purposes of the institution.

Gifts Through Estate Plans

Charitable gifts fall into two categories: outright and deferred. Outright gifts (also called immediate gifts) can be used by UNLV as soon as they are received. Deferred, or planned, gifts cannot be put to use by the university until the end of a specified period of time. During this time, the donor continues to enjoy a beneficial interest in the property. Deferred gifts may be revocable or irrevocable.

Please visit our Estate Gift page for more detailed information.

UNLV provides this information as a courtesy to our alumni and other friends. We believe it is accurate and in accordance with current applicable law; however, we are neither intending nor attempting to render legal, tax, or financial advice. We encourage you to consult with a qualified professional advisor to determine whether the information presented here may be useful to you.