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Planned Giving

Planned Gift Beneficiary: Bethany Kiel '11

Bethany Kiel

Bethany Kiel with Carrie and Bill Venema

Planned Gift Beneficiary: Bethany Kiel '11

This summer, Bethany Kiel, Kalamazoo College Class of 2011, worked as an intern for American Village Builders Construction (AVB). A business and economics major, Beth did not know she was interested in construction, even though her father works in the field. "It's a great experience watching something go up from ground to finish," Beth says.

Her work at AVB was part of the Monroe- Brown Internship Program, a high quality career experience provided through collaboration between the Monroe-Brown Foundation and Southwest Michigan First. In her time at AVB, Beth has become the expert in its new computer program for project document management. She dove into the program manual and helped to work out the initial kinks of the new system. "In my first week, I was introduced to new terminology and new computer programs that I had never seen before. I was thankful for the abilities that a liberal arts education gave me— to catch on quickly and to ask questions where you don't understand," Beth says. With her growing expertise, she was able to train project managers on the new program.

"Attending K has presented me with opportunities not found at other schools," Beth says. "I'm not sure I would've been able to stay at K without the help of scholarships." As a senior, this is her third year receiving the Venema Family Scholarship. "Scholarships have greatly reduced my debt from loans," says Beth, "and given me and my family comfort in uncertain times."

The Venema Family Scholarship Endowed Fund was established in 1999 in memory of Amy Venema, making its first award in 2006. Charles Venema '33 initiated the creation of the scholarship to honor his late wife by establishing three charitable gift annuities with Kalamazoo College. When he passed away in 2002, the principal from the gift annuities flowed into the Venema Family Scholarship Endowed Fund. Charles' son and daughter-in-law, Bill '59 and Carrie Venema, of Kalamazoo, have created two deferred charitable gift annuities and made other gifts during their lifetime that will aid students like Beth who receive the scholarship. "We're happy to continue the support," says Bill. In the four years since the scholarship was first awarded, five students have received more than $26,000 in scholarships.

Since becoming a recipient of the scholarship, Beth has had the opportunity to meet Bill and Carrie and share with them her Kalamazoo College experiences. While in Strasbourg, France, for study abroad, Beth sent e-mails to Bill and Carrie about her first airplane trip, about attending a town hall speech given by Barack Obama during the G20 Summit, about playing on an intramural "le football" team and more. Before her senior year, Beth again met with the Venemas for lunch. At the meeting, Carrie expressed to Beth how much she looked forward to receiving those e-mails.

As she starts to think about graduation, Beth is considering a number of different options, including graduate school. Because of her newfound interest in construction and the connections she made with other Kalamazoo College alumni through her internship, she is looking into her opportunities in that field as well.


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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Kalamazoo College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Kalamazoo College [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to K or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to K as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to K as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and K where you agree to make a gift to K and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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