Downing College owes its foundation to a legacy. In addition, its current financial position and a number of its buildings that have been added over the years can be attributed to bequests.

Why leave a legacy to Downing College?


  • To continue to thrive and attract the best, we need our members to make provision for the College through their wills.
  • Many of the facilities enjoyed at Downing were provided by legacies: benefiting from the generosity of earlier generations creates a link between Downing’s alumni and other benefactors and today’s students, which we hope to carry on into the future.
  • You can help Downing in the future without impacting on your finances today: if you feel you are unable to donate at present, leaving a legacy is the perfect way to make provision for the College.
  • As the College is a registered charity, a gift in your will is exempt from UK inheritance tax.  This is strengthened by UK legislation introduced in 2012 which allows for a reduction in the inheritance tax (from 40% to 36%) imposed on those who leave 10% or more of their net estate to charity. Thus the overall tax liability of your estate could be reduced by leaving a legacy to Downing.
  • Downing members who make a bequest to the College will be invited to join the 1749 Society.

For many, there is no exact right time to write a will and you may or may not have already written your own.  We appreciate that the interests and well-being of relatives and close friends will naturally come first when you are making your will. It is when they have been provided for that we ask you to remember your College, alongside other causes important to you. We hope that you will find the information on these pages useful.

Downing College North range

If you would like to see our legacy brochure, please click here, or if you would like to discuss leaving a legacy to the College, please contact Susan Esden, Senior Development Manager by email at sal53@cam.ac.uk or by telephone on 01223 334825.

Alumni & Development, Downing College, Cambridge CB2 1DQ. Telephone 01223 334850· Email development@dow.cam.ac.uk