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Planned Giving

Enriching Future Lives

Donor Fountain

Jim and Gwen Fountain

Enriching Future Lives

For Jim and Gwen Fountain, both members of the Class of '68, attending Kalamazoo College "provided a foundation for furthering our educations," Jim says.

"I remember working extremely hard," he says, having spent the winter quarter of his senior year at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences completing his thesis studying enzyme structures in the liver. After K, Jim earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan and became a professor and retinal surgeon.

"I enjoyed the breadth and depth of the education at K," Gwen says. Both of them also studied abroad in Germany, and Gwen spent her career service quarter in Washington, D.C., as an economic assistant for the Bureau of Public Roads. Gwen later earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Michigan and worked as a professor and administrator.

"Our education at K enriched our lives," Gwen says. "We believe in K and want to give back to the institution that supported us." Gwen and Jim created a bequest in their living trust that will support the College endowment in the long term as part of The Campaign for Kalamazoo College. "We want to make sure the College endures and survives," Jim says.

As an additional part of their support to the campaign, Jim and Gwen created a charitable remainder annuity trust. For a set term of years, they will receive annuity payments and, at the end of the term, they designated the remainder to establish the Gwen and James Fountain Faculty Development Fund. The fund will encourage and sustain faculty excellence in science and mathematics, including the support of faculty sabbaticals, conference presentations, and independent research.

"We both have connections to the sciences and math," says Gwen, who majored in economics while Jim majored in chemistry. She adds, "This is part of what you do to give back so others can have the same experience."

UPDATE: View The Campaign for Kalamazoo College results at Contact Matthew Brosco, Esq., 269-337-7288 or for more information.


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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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