Legacy giving at Cambridge

A legacy gift to Cambridge may support brilliant students by endowing scholarships or bursaries, fund academic or research posts, enable new buildings or improve facilities.

Legacy giving at Cambridge

Legacies at Cambridge

For more than 800 years, legacies have been fundamental to Cambridge. Our Colleges, laboratories, libraries and museums are founded on the generosity of visionary benefactors who have seen that a bequest to Cambridge is a gift to the future of learning, research and knowledge.

A legacy gift to Cambridge may support brilliant students by endowing scholarships or bursaries, fund academic or research posts, or enable new buildings or the improvement of facilities.

Through a gift in your will, you can support the University of Cambridge in myriad ways. You can direct your gift towards any aspect of Cambridge life, including departments, museums, libraries, and student support programmes. An unrestricted gift allows us to direct funds wherever they are most needed. Whichever you choose, it will help to shape the lives of our students and contribute to our ability to have a profound impact on the world.

Types of bequest

There are several ways you can give a gift in your will. The most common ways are below. However, if you have something else in mind, please get in touch so we can discuss this with you.

  • Residuary — All or part of the remainder of your estate after other legacies and charges have been met. A residuary bequest has the advantage that its value is not eroded by inflation.
  • Pecuniary — A specific sum of money. This type of gift can be index-linked to prevent its value from being eroded by inflation. If you already have a will in place, a pecuniary legacy can be added by means of a codicil.
  • Reversionary — Your assets will be left to a named beneficiary for their lifetime (your spouse, or other dependants for example). On their death, the whole of a specified proportion will then revert to the University.
  • Specific — Allows you to leave a gift in kind, such as valuables and works of art or collections to the University, either on terms that they are retained or that they may be sold and the proceeds devoted to other University purposes.

Remembering the University in your will

If you would like to leave a gift in your will to the University, please use the following wording as a template:

“I give to the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge the residue of my estate / % of residue of my estate / the sum of £ (amount) free of tax and it is my wish (without creating a binding obligation) that the gift be used to benefit the Department of X, in particular the support of Y. I declare that the receipt of a financial officer of the University shall be a full and sufficient discharge.”

If you would like your gift to be more specific, please get in touch so we can help you create appropriate wording.

It is important to consult with a legal professional when writing a new will or amending an existing will.

For further information on legacy giving, please contact:

Alice Macek

Associate Director — Legacies