How To Give

"Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers."

Often expressed by Thunderbird’s second president, William Schurz, that idea is infinitely more relevant in today’s world than at Thunderbird’s founding in 1946. It has guided our vision and mission for more than 60 years. Just a dream in 1946, Thunderbird’s mission is today’s global reality. We educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide and were the first graduate school of international management to offer an integrated program of languages, culture and business. We continue to lead the world in international business education. With 38,000 Thunderbird graduates, our alumni bring their global thought leadership, corporate expertise, and core values to more than 140 countries. Your financial contribution can help maintain Thunderbird’s legacy and traditions, facilitate its growth and sustain this unique educational experience.

Three Convenient Ways to Give:

Online: (safe and secure) 
By phone: +1 800 457-6981 (US only) or +1 602 978-7309 (M-F; 8-5) 
By mail: Attn. Advancement Office, 1 Global Place, Glendale, AZ 85306-6000 USA


Outright gifts provide immediate support to Thunderbird and its mission and can be made in the following forms:

Check or Credit Card
A gift by check is the most common and convenient way to give to Thunderbird. Checks should be made payable to the ASU Foundation or can be made with a credit card. For donors who itemize their tax deductions, the gift is fully deductible up to 50% of adjusted gross income. Any excess may be carried forward for up to five additional years. The gift can be designated for a specific purpose by the donor; the designation should be made in writing and included with the gift.

Appreciated Securities
A gift of appreciated securities such as stocks, mutual funds, and bonds can provide attractive benefits. An outright gift of long-term appreciated securities (securities held for more than a year) avoids capital gains taxes and, in most cases, the donor obtains a charitable income tax deduction equal to the market value of the securities. For gifts of property, your gift is fully deductible for up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and, like gifts of cash, may be carried forward for five additional years.

Corporate Matching

Many donors can increase their support for Thunderbird through their company's matching gift program, in which the company matches the gift of the donor. Nearly 1,000 companies match contributions for employees, their spouses, retirees and directors dollar for dollar.

Planned Gifts

Planned gifts require some long-term forecasting before they are made and are popular because they can provide valuable tax benefits and/or income for life. Whether a donor uses cash or other assets, such as real estate, artwork, or partnership interests, the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving very attractive to both the donor and charity.

Potential Benefits of Planned Gifts

  • Increase current income for the donor or others
  • Reduce the donor's income tax
  • Avoid capital gains tax
  • Pass assets to family at a reduced tax cost
  • Make significant donations to Thunderbird or another charity

With the assistance of Thunderbird's development staff and/or the donor's financial advisors, donors can craft a planned gift to meet both charitable and financial goals.

Most Popular Planned Gifts

Bequest – A bequest is a provision in a donor's will or trust to leave assets to Thunderbird or another charity after his or her death. The donor's estate will receive a charitable estate tax deduction at the time of death, when the gift is made to charity.

Gift Annuity – A gift annuity is a contract between Thunderbird and a donor. In return for a donation of cash or other assets, Thunderbird agrees to pay a fixed payment for life to the donor or to a friend or family member of the donor's choosing. The donor also can claim a charitable tax deduction. If a donor funds a gift annuity with long-term capital gain property, the donor will have to report only some of the gain, and may be able to report it in installments over many years. Income from a gift annuity can be deferred for a period of years. Deferred gift annuities are often set up by younger donors to supplement retirement income.

Charitable Remainder Trust – The donor contributes assets to the trust and the trust makes payments, either a fixed amount (annuity trust) or a percentage of trust principal (unitrust), to the donor or another income beneficiary of his or her choosing. The donor may claim a charitable income tax deduction and may not have to pay any capital gains tax if the gift is of appreciated property. At the end of the trust term, the charity receives whatever amount is left in the trust. Charitable remainder unitrusts provide some flexibility in the distribution of income, and thus can be helpful in retirement planning.

Charitable Lead Trust – This trust makes payments, either a fixed amount (annuity trust) or a percentage of trust principal (unitrust), to charity during its term. At the end of the trust term, the principal can either go back to the donor (a grantor lead trust) or to heirs named by the donor (a non-grantor lead trust). The donor may claim a charitable income tax deduction for funding a grantor lead trust or a charitable gift tax deduction for funding a non-grantor lead trust. Since lead trusts are typically used to pass assets to heirs, non-grantor lead trusts are far more common than grantor lead trusts.

Retirement Assets – Retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts often represent some of an individual's most highly appreciated assets. If the named beneficiary for the balance in a retirement plan is someone other than a spouse, the balance could be substantially reduced by taxes. Therefore, designating a charity like Thunderbird as the beneficiary of a retirement plan account can be an effective way to make a charitable gift. Many donors use their retirement plans for their charitable gifts and leave their other (less highly taxed) assets to their other heirs.

Life Insurance – Donors may use life insurance to make a gift to Thunderbird: This is done by making a gift of an existing life insurance policy or establishing a new policy with Thunderbird named as the beneficiary (and owner) of the policy. Life insurance can be an affordable way to make a large future gift, particularly for a younger donor.

Retained Life Estate – A donor may make a gift of his personal residence or farm to Thunderbird and retain the right to live there for the remainder of his or her life. The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the gift. At the donor's death, Thunderbird can use or sell the property.

Funds will be deposited with the ASU Foundation, a separate non-profit organization that exists to advance ASU as a New American University. We thank you for your generous support.


Giving to Thunderbird is about more than money.
It's also about contributing your time, expertise and innovative ideas. Many volunteer opportunities require minimal time commitments. You decide your level of engagement, the amount of time you can spare. Then make the decision to roll up your sleeves and get involved. Once you do, you'll be amazed at how much you benefit in the process. You may just find yourself offering more.

So explore the possibilities. Become a guest speaker in a class or seminar. Introduce Thunderbird students to your company. Offer career advice to students — or internships through your company. Recruit Thunderbird students.

For more information on Thunderbird volunteer opportunities, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at +602 978-7309 or 800 457-6981 (toll free within the United States). You can also send an e-mail to

Or, if you're a Thunderbird graduate, download the Alumni Brochure and explore other volunteer options open to you. Call Alumni Central at +602 978-7358 or 800 457-6957 (US only) or e-mail for more information.