Donate Now - Eye & Ear Foundation

The Development Office and Independent Supporting Foundation to the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC .


Eyesight is a precious gift. But for millions of children and adults, all of life's experiences are dimmed.

At the Department of Ophthalmology, our mission is clear - to improve quality of life. With our discoveries we hope to save the sight of millions of people.

Gifts for Current Need and Endowment

Charitable giving established the Department of Ophthalmology. All throughout the year, we are reminded how vital our supporters are; the Department of Ophthalmology's work is made possible through financial support from patients, friends and alumni who want to help.

Gifts are typically made through the Eye & Ear Foundation. The Eye & Ear Foundation is an independent supporting foundation with the mission of supplying supplemental funding and resource development services to the departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

The Foundation and its supporters are committed to investing in the most talented physicians and researchers and providing them with the tools of discovery. We know that our gifts give hope to our friends and neighbors in the greater Pittsburgh area, around the country, and around the world.

Ways to Make a Gift

Gifts to the Eye & Ear Foundation can be allocated to a specific area of research or to the area of the greatest need. Tribute donations in honor of your physician or memorial contributions are common. Charitable gifts reward donors in many ways; there is the satisfaction of supporting an important cause, the excitement of seeing your gift lead to positive change, and - in many cases - tangible benefits to you and/or another beneficiary, through tax advantages and the retention of lifetime income from the donated asset.

Gifts of Cash and Pledges

Many gifts to the Eye & Ear Foundation are in the form of cash. Cash gifts are deductible for federal income tax purposes up to a limit of 50 percent of your adjusted gross income if you itemize deductions.

Cash gifts may be pledged for payment over a period of years. To be officially recorded, pledges should be made either in writing or by means of a pledge card.

Gifts of Stocks and Bond

Many donors to the Eye & Ear Foundation make outright gifts and pledges in the form of appreciated securities rather than cash, in order to benefit from the extra tax advantages.

If you itemize, you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for the full value of your gift provided that you have owned the securities for more than 12 months. In addition, you avoid paying a tax on capital gains, which you would owe if you sold the securities. Gifts of securities are deductible for federal tax purposes up to a limit of 30 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Gifts through Bequests

The Eye & Ear Foundation has been the recipient of bequests, both large and small, from alumni, friends and grateful patients over the years. These donors felt they needed their capital during their lifetimes, but found it possible to associate themselves forever with the Eye & Ear Foundation.

These bequests, no matter how modest, have been welcome and important to the Eye & Ear Foundation. To make an unrestricted gift, you may wish to use the following language:

"I give, devise and bequeath unto the Eye & Ear Foundation , a not-for-profit supporting foundation:

  1. all of my residuary estate; or
  2. a portion of my residuary estate equal to ___% thereof; or
  3. the following described property; or
  4. the sum of _____________."

The value of the bequest to the Eye & Ear Foundation is deductible for estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the amount of the deduction.

It is helpful, once you designate the Eye & Ear Foundation, that you notify the development office in writing that you have made a provision in your will.

Gifts of Closely Held Stock

If you own stock in a closely held corporation, you can use such stock to make a gift to the Eye & Ear Foundation that will bring you substantial tax benefits. There are a number of strategies you can use to structure the gift according to your circumstances.

Gifts That Provide Income

You may wish to make a substantial gift to the Eye & Ear Foundation but feel you cannot afford to give up the annual income produced by the asset. Our life-income gift program offers several ways to help you make such a gift, while retaining an income for your lifetime.

The benefits to you, the donor, vary, but all these arrangements have the following attractive features:

  • Income for life paid to you and/or another beneficiary, such as your spouse of another family member
  • Increased income if a gift is made to a life income plan that produces a higher yield than the donated asset
  • An immediate federal income tax deduction for a portion of the value of the gift
  • Elimination of capital gains tax at the time of transfer if the asset is in the form of securities or real estate that have appreciated in value.

We will be pleased to discuss with you the various options which you may wish to consider when planning a life-income gift.

Gifts of Real Estate

Almost any kind of real estate can make a valuable gift to the Eye & Ear Foundation: a primary residence, vacation home, farm, commercial building, or an undeveloped parcel of land. You can even contribute your residence now and still reside in it for life.

As with gifts of appreciated stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and personal property, no capital gains tax is due when you donate appreciated real estate. You are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the appreciated value of the real estate and you avoid estate taxes on the appreciated asset.

Gifts of Personal Property

In planning your estate, remember that valuable collections, works of art, and other forms of tangible property may be subject to estate taxes. By donating such items during your lifetime rather than at your death, you not only reduce your taxable estate but also reduce your taxable income in the year of the gift.

For a gift of tangible property, you are entitled to an income tax charitable deduction amounting to the property's fair market value, provided the use of the object is directly related to the Eye & Ear Foundation's tax-exempt functions. If the property cannot be used directly by the Eye & Ear Foundation, your tax deduction is the lesser of the property's original cost or the fair market value.

All gifts should be made to the Eye & Ear Foundation and are tax-deductible in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code.

For further information contact:

Lawney Snyder
Executive Director
Eye & Ear Foundation
203 Lothrop Street
Suite 251, EEI
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 864-1303

Advancing philanthropic support for the departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC is the sole mission of the Eye & Ear Foundation. The Foundation is an independent not-for-profit supporting foundation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and gratefully accepts gift of cash, pledges, and property, such as stock or securities, and planned and deferred gifts such as wills and bequests, gift annuities and trusts. Unrestricted gifts are encouraged. If you wish to designate your gift, please note the program, department or disease to which the gift is to be applied or for more information contact Executive Director, Lawney Snyder.