Planned Giving

by Carolyn Vaughan

In 2001, a friend of the college made a substantial gift to Berklee as a way to perpetuate her passion for music and education. Today, this gift is renewed annually through payments from a charitable lead trust that is steadily growing: the Thayer A. Peck Scholarship Fund, named for the donor's late son.

Building a Legacy
Gifts of this nature offer individuals the opportunity to build a living legacy for Berklee College of Music in a meaningful, far-reaching, and financially sound way. The phrase "planned giving" describes the many ways in which people can support Berklee beyond an outright gift. Many people choose to make planned gifts because they enable families and individuals to make a gift from their assets rather than their income. Donors may make provisions that suit both their personal financial goals and foster the programs they value. In many cases, donors maximize their personal benefits while minimizing their tax liabilities. 

Among the various types of gifts that donors make, a bequest is the simplest and most traditional way to provide significant help to Berklee. This can be arranged as either a designated sum or the residuary of your estate once all primary bequests have been fulfilled. Life insurance policies are often a hidden asset that make a valuable charitable gift when your policy is no longer needed for its original purpose. Using appreciated securities to fund gifts, both now and in the future, will also protect you from income and capital gains taxes.

For example, a charitable gift annuity offers a donor such advantages as an immediate income tax deduction, a stream of annual income that is partially nontaxable, and a fixed rate of return that is typically higher than most fixed-income investments. Then, at the end of the annuitant's lifetime, the remaining principal benefits the donor's designated program at Berklee. In effect, you can leave a bequest while also receiving a lot of benefits during your lifetime.

Planned giving offers donors creative ways to support Berklee's mission to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career. Your gift will not only benefit you during your life, but will positively affect the lives of tomorrow's entrepreneurial musical talents. 

Ways to Support Berklee
Donors can add to existing endowed scholarships or create new endowed funds where they may focus their support on student musicians who play particular instruments or specific majors or music genres. Here are a few examples of such arrangements. The Lee Eliot Berk Music Business/Management Scholarship supports talented students majoring in music management. The Maynard Ferguson Scholarship Fund gives trumpet players an opportunity to excel. The Quincy Jones Scholarship Fund supports composers, and the Sarah Vaughan Endowed Scholarship Fund nurtures amazing vocalists. Endowed chairs, such as the Gary Burton Endowed Chair, also work to support faculty in their academic endeavors.

A recent addition is the Presidential Scholarship Program created by President Roger Brown. His vision is to make the College's unique blend of artistic and academic excellence available to more talented young people. These scholarships not only give students a comprehensive academic experience, but also support room and board costs so that students of all economic backgrounds have the same opportunity to thrive musically at Berklee. Whether a student's goal is to be a pioneer in a particular musical genre, in the music industry, or in music therapy, Berklee aims to bring the brightest lights to the college with the help of those who provide support through various methods of giving. 

To learn more about giving to Berklee, visit For a confidential discussion about naming Berklee in a will or estate plan, please contact Carolyn Vaughan at 617-747-2567, or send an e-mail to