Giving 101

Your first step in making a gift to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to consider the types of assets you may contribute, and the major giving methods. This page summarizes both, and provides links to more detailed information. You may also consult Frequently Asked Questions, the Clark School, and your financial and tax professionals.

Contributions to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering help create more educational and research opportunities for our students, faculty, and department. Your contribution, no matter how large or small, can have an impact on a student today, and far reaching impacts for tomorrow.

The generous support of friends and donors helps Civil provide:

Graduate Awards

These awards help us attract the best candidates into our Masters and Ph.D. programs and help defray the cost of student's education, enabling them to focus on their academic and professional goals.

Discretionary Funds

Discretionary funds for professors have multiple effects. Discretionary funds are vital to helping new faculty set up their laboratories and quickly become productive teachers and researchers. Discretionary funds will also allow our graduate students to participate in the most prestigious research conferences—often presenting their thesis work. Named professorships, even small ones, give specific faculty the flexibility to peruse new areas of research—areas where funding opportunities exist, but only if the proof-of-concept experiments already have been done.


Scholarships bring more young people into our field. CEE attracts some of the best undergraduates in the Clark School. We are always in need of more scholarship funds to make sure these young scholars can maximize their education.

  • Captain Thomas C. and Barbara M. Crane Scholarship in Civil Engineering
  • Thomas and Barbara Crane Scholarship in Civil Engineering

Types of Assets to Contribute

Cash is the simplest form of gift to make. It is also the most flexible and immediate gift for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or the Clark School to use. It is usually sent by mail in the form of a check or money order. It may also be provided via a credit card using our Online giving site.

Non-Cash Assets
Gifts of non-cash assets let you support the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or the Clark School while keeping your cash flow intact.  In addition, non-cash gifts provide long-term financial planning benefits while ensuring the school long-term funding capacity. Common non-cash assets are:

  • Appreciated securities/stocks
    Stocks are a convenient non-cash gift. The transactions can be handled by you directly or by a financial representative and have multiple benefits that vary with each individual's portfolio.
    Learn more.
  • Land, real estate and personal property
    Gifts of property can result in important tax savings. When you make gifts of property, certain value appraisals are required. These transactions will be handled by you in conjunction with your legal representative.

Current Use vs. Endowments

Current use accounts are set up for gifts that will be spent upon their arrival. An example of a current use account is the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Scholarship Fund. The Fund is evaluated twice a year by the Scholarships/Fellowships committee, and they disperse  funds that are available in the account, which is an accumulation of the past six month’s donations. Cash in provided by donors, cash out to benefit students. Replenishing these funds is critical as scholarship support is only provided when it is available and amounts vary year to year.

Endowments are bound by legal parameters that are governed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Many donors have chosen to form endowments because the endowment allows their generous gifts to grow over time. Imagine knowing that long after you are gone, the legacy of your generosity will still be providing scholarships for students at the University of Maryland.

Endowment gifts are placed in a University of Maryland College Park Foundation account dedicated to the individual donor’s scholarship (or other project based on the donor’s intent) and invested. The percentage of return varies from year to year reflecting the investment performance.

Giving Methods

Direct Contribution
A direct contribution is a transaction in which the value of the asset is provided to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or the Clark School at the time the gift is made. Cash is usually a direct contribution.

Estate or Planned Gifts
Gifts made through your estate or will can help you realize your philanthropic goals during or after your lifetime. In addition, estate gifts to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or the Clark School may be structured to provide you income streams immediately. Bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts and pooled income funds are all types of planned gifts. You may also name the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or the Clark School as a beneficiary of an IRA, 401k or insurance policy.
Learn more.