Beneficiary Designations: The Easiest Way to Leave a Legacy

You can help ensure that future generations of students have access to the same enriching experiences you had at Bowdoin by designating the College as a beneficiary or successor-in-interest to receive assets from one of your accounts such as a bank, investment or retirement account; a donor-advised charitable giving account (DAF); or, a life insurance policy or other financial instruments. 

View of Bowdoin College from tower

How to make a designation for Bowdoin

Designations are made by assigning a percentage of assets to the beneficiary or successor using a form that is entirely separate from your will or living trust. Designations come in several forms including: PODs (payable on death, usually on bank accounts); TODs (transfer on death, usually on investment accounts); and Successor-in-Interest (usually on donor-advised funds) and pass outside of probate, directly to the College.

Designations are flexible and revocable. You have the ability to make adjustments to meet unforeseen circumstances such as: unexpected family needs; long-term care costs; or, poor investment performance.

Donor-Advised Funds

Donor-advised funds* (DAFs) are a popular philanthropic tool which may become even more so as taxpayers who avail themselves of the standard deduction use a DAF periodically to reach the itemization threshold.

More About DAFs

Life Insurance Policy

If the original purpose for your life insurance policy no longer applies—such as educating children now grown or providing financial security for a spouse now deceased—your policy can be used to leave a legacy at Bowdoin.

More About Life Insurance Policies

How to Make a Designation for Bowdoin on one of Your Accounts

Many banks and investment firms have portals for customers to access their accounts online. You may be able to designate beneficiaries or successors-in-interest through the submission of a web-based form. If you cannot find a way to make a designation online, contact your financial institution, life insurance company, or donor advised fund sponsor to request a form to make your designation. You will need Bowdoin’s legal information to complete the form.

Have You Made a Designation for Bowdoin?

If you have made a designation for Bowdoin on one of your accounts, please visit our secure web-based portal to document your designation and submit it on line to the Office of Gift Planning. Alternatively, you can inform us of your Intentions by completing our Documenting Your Provision for Bowdoin form and emailing it to

Sharing information about your plans for Bowdoin ensures that your wishes are understood by the College. You will be welcomed into the Bowdoin Pines Society.

Peter Webster
Donor Story

Learn why Peter Webster ’62 has made a designation for Bowdoin on his retirement account.

Please note that we are prohibited from giving legal or financial advice and none of the information above should be interpreted as such. We encourage you to consult with your own legal counsel or financial advisor before deciding whether or not to proceed with a gift.