Black Hills State University
Ways to Give

You Decide.

We want you to decide what is the right way for you to give. There are many options for a one time cash donation to giving ownership of a life insurance policy to the foundation. Learn more by finding the option below that is right for you. Then you can donate online or feel free contact us.


Cash is the easiest and most common way to make a gift. You receive a charitable contribution deduction and the university is able to use your gift immediately. These gifts can also be restricted to a particular area by the donor. Unrestricted gifts are used for the areas of greatest need. You can mail your donation to the BHSU Foundation, 1200 University Unit 9506, Spearfish, SD 57799-9506. If you wish to donate using a credit card, call (605) 642-6385 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. MT.  

Matching Gifts

If your place of employment offers a matching gift program, you may be able to double your donation to the foundation. Many companies also match gifts of their retired employees.

Corporate Matching Gifts

Corporate gift matching is a rapidly growing source of aid to higher education. You can double, triple, and sometimes even quadruple the value of your gift to BHSU if you work for a company that matches employee gifts to educational institutions. For more information, contact your human resources professional at your place of employment.

Appreciated Securities

Gifts of stocks, bonds, treasuries and mutual funds, provide a double benefit to you. When you donate appreciated securities, you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the securities and without capital gains considerations.


A gift to the BHSU Foundation through your will is a popular option, as it does not reduce your current income, yet provides substantial future support for the university. There are no immediate tax advantages, although your bequest may reduce estate taxes.


Real estate, including homes, commercial buildings and land can be donated to the foundation. Gifts of this nature are also helpful and provide substantial benefits for the donor as well. If the value of your property is more than you wish to give, you may donate a partial interest.  Property deeded with Life Estate retained is an arrangement in which you would donate your personal residence or ranch and continue to live there.

Retirement Plan Assets

Retirement plan assets are one of the most taxed assets at death in larger estates, subject to both income tax and estate tax. While current tax law does not allow you to transfer these assets directly to the BHSU Foundation during your lifetime, naming the foundation as the beneficiary on your account could avoid both income and estate taxes after your lifetime.

Life Insurance

If you give ownership of a life insurance policy to the foundation, you will receive an immediate income tax deduction. If you are still making premium payments, these payments to the university become a charitable gift. And, if you choose to name the foundation as a beneficiary, the face value of the policy will eventually constitute a gift in your name, included in your estate, and is deductible for federal estate tax purposes.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

This type of trust makes an annual payment to one or more individuals for life or a term of years. Upon termination of this charitable remainder trust, the property remaining will be transferred to the foundation and used for the purpose you have specified. There are two types of charitable remainder trusts.

  • Unitrust -- Income fluctuates annually with the fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust.
  • Annuity Trust -- Income payments are fixed and determined when the gift is made. This is attractive to individuals who want to avoid risk.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable gift annuities are an easy and popular gift plan. This is an exchange of cash, securities, real estate or other property in return for a contractual agreement for the foundation to pay you and/or your spouse a specified amount of income for your lifetime(s), determined by a rate schedule based on your age.

Charitable Lead Trusts

A charitable lead trust is an agreement in which a donor places assets in a trust that will be managed by a Trustee. During the term of the trust, a percentage of the trust's principal (specified by the agreement) is paid to the foundation each year. At the end of the term, your heirs will receive the trust's principal and any additional income and appreciation that has accrued, with no additional gift or estate taxes due. The trust's income first benefits the charity and then goes to the family members at substantial tax savings.


Endowments combine a donor’s vision with the needs and objectives of Black Hills State University. Year after year, endowment funds continue to provide support for BHSU students in the form of scholarships or other programs. You can create your own endowment fund in the BHSU Foundation, which will perpetually provide for funds which you’ve designated.

To guarantee that income from the endowment will always be sufficient to support the specified purpose, minimum support levels are established. You may want to consider one of the following endowment options:

  • General Support – An endowment to support general needs of the university may be created with a gift of $10,000 or more. These gifts give the university flexibility on directing the spending to the areas of greatest need.
  • Scholarship – A gift of $10,000 or more will fund a scholarship. You may wish to have the scholarship in your or a loved one’s name.
  • Endowed Chair – A minimum of $1 million would endow a chair in most academic areas. Income from the endowment would supplement the faculty member’s salary.
  • Library General Endowment – A gift of $10,000 or more will establish a collection or general support endowment. The income from this endowment would support collections or programs.

Endowments can be established through a cash donation or through planned giving programs. For more information please contact Steve Meeker, or call (605) 642-6385.

Still unsure of what type of gift is for you?

Check out some of the goals and benefits that match each type of donation.