Ways to Give

Gift Planning

Planned gifts are opportunities for you to leave a lasting legacy at Cushing. They are also flexible and can offer retirement income opportunities and tax advantages. Such gifts are often a donor’s largest and most powerful charitable contribution to Cushing Academy. If you have questions about these giving vehicles, please contact your tax advisor or call the Cushing Academy Development Office at 978-827-7400.

You can make deferred gifts in the following ways:
  • Bequests
  • Retirement account gifts
  • Life insurance
  • Life income gifts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts


Bequests are the most familiar way to provide future support for Cushing. You can remember the Academy with a bequest simply by having your attorney insert a few words in your will. You retain complete control of your assets throughout your lifetime and can adjust your gift if your circumstances change.

There are several types of bequests. A specific bequest makes a gift of a specific dollar amount or asset. A percentage bequest makes a gift of all or a percentage of the estate after all specific bequests and expenses related to the estate have been paid; sometimes called a residuary bequest. A contingent bequest makes a gift to the Academy only in the event of the death of other named beneficiaries.

Retirement Accounts

You can designate Cushing Academy as a beneficiary of your retirement account and pass on more tax-favored assets to your heirs. Assets remaining in your tax deferred retirement account—IRA, 401(k), 403(b), SEP, or others—are subject to income taxes in addition to possible estate taxes, making them less valuable to heirs than to Cushing, which pays no income or estate taxes.

Beneficiary designations are easy to establish. You need no attorney to create or change a beneficiary designation, however, we encourage you to consult your attorney or other advisors to ensure consistency with your overall estate plan. Simply obtain a beneficiary designation form from the company that manages your account and name Cushing Academy as a beneficiary. This form—not your will or trust—governs retirement account designations.

Life Insurance

You can make a gift of life insurance in various ways. A paid up policy that you no longer need for its original purpose can be cashed in to benefit Cushing immediately.  A current policy, on which premiums are being paid, can be donated as well. For you to receive tax benefits, the ownership of the policy must be transferred to Cushing Academy. Premiums you continue to pay after transferring such a policy are also tax deductible. If you wish to retain ownership of your policy, you can designate Cushing as a beneficiary. While there is no immediate tax benefit, your future gift will benefit Cushing as you direct.

Life Income Gifts

Life income gifts provide you with income from your donated assets—usually for life. In addition, you enjoy dependable professional management of those assets and significant tax benefits. Such gifts include a Charitable Remainder Unitrust, Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, Charitable Gift Annuity, Deferred Gift Annuity, and a Pooled Income Fund.  

These gifts are irrevocable transfers of assets to Cushing Academy. You receive a predetermined income stream during your lifetime, and, if you choose, during the lifetime of your spouse or another individual. Even though you retain income, a portion of the gift value qualifies for an income tax deduction. When the plan ends, your gift supports Cushing Academy as you have designated.

Payout options can be fixed or variable, depending on your needs, and can begin right away or at some future date.
These gifts allow you to plan an income stream for current or future retirement and increase your income without capital gains taxes eroding the principal. They can establish a steady income for fixed obligations, such as a mortgage, and creates an opportunity for income growth to protect against inflation.

Our office can help you explore your priorities and choose the gift that’s right for you.

Charitable Lead Trusts

A charitable lead trust is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust; it provides an income stream to Cushing Academy for a specified period and the remaining assets are passed to your heirs. This type of gift is typically used to reduce gift or estate taxes.

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430
Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.