Make an Impact at Whitworth

Consider a Gift of Real Estate

Students taking samples

Whitworth environmental studies students take water samples at the Verbrugge Environmental Center along the Little Spokane River.

As you plan your legacy, a gift of real estate may be the perfect option for you to consider. One of Whitworth's unique real estate gifts is the university's Verbrugge Environmental Center, a teaching, learning and conservation center nestled in the beautiful Scotia Valley 35 miles northeast of campus. Offering 605 acres of forested land where faculty and students do hands-on research, the center provides students opportunities to investigate issues related to resource conservation, human ecology, ethno-botany and ecosystem restoration; they also engage in basic and applied ecological research.

How did Whitworth receive this gift?

Durand and Betty Verbrugge created the Verbrugge Living Trust in 1997, documenting their desire to donate their beloved 605 Scotia Valley acres to Whitworth upon the death of their son, Gary, who currently lives on the property. Durand and Betty have both passed away, but in fall 2017, Gary gave his own legacy gift to Whitworth and its environmental studies program by confirming that upon his death, his parents' desire will be fulfilled.

"The Verbrugge family's legacy is remarkable, creating opportunities for generations of students to care for and steward God's creation," says Dave LejaMeyer, development director at Whitworth and hands-on participant in the work Whitworth students do on the property. "Providing this platform of education fulfills the Verbrugges' dream of restoring the land and teaching others how to do the same. We are incredibly grateful for their vision and stewardship."

If you would like to help fulfill Whitworth's mission with a gift of real estate, your property can serve as a unique giving opportunity.

view of land

There are various ways to donate real estate:

  • Donate property and secure a deduction for the full value.
  • Give your home, but enjoy lifetime use.
  • Donate real estate and obtain income for life from your gift.
  • Give real estate through your will.

Real estate gifts can be complex, depending on the property involved. Therefore, we recommend consulting with your professional advisors.

Let's Work Together

We would be happy to assist your attorney and other advisors in designing the most suitable gift plan for you. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Holly Norton at 509.777.4362 or hnorton@whitworth.edu.



A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Whitworth University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

I hereby give, devise and bequeath to Whitworth University, a nonprofit corporation located in Spokane, Washington, and a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code,      gift of what       (the sum of $               ; or            % of my estate; the residual of my estate; or the personal/real property described herein) to be used for        purpose      (general and unrestricted use; endowment; academic programs; scholarship; facilities etc)

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Whitworth or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Whitworth as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Whitworth as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Whitworth where you agree to make a gift to Whitworth and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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