Liz Sullinger (left) with her best friend, Michele Torr McDonell, at SCU
In philanthropy, it's okay to start small. Generations of Americans fondly remember the iconic cardboard UNICEF boxes they carried alongside sacks of Halloween candy, or the neighbor-to-neighbor network to help their local little league, yearbook drive, or scout troop. For Liz Sullinger '80, her entry into charitable giving came standing alongside her mother, Adele, as she went door-to-door collecting funds for the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and other good causes.
"Whether it was for the church, or the school—anyone who asked, my mother always gave, because to whom much is given, much is expected," Liz says.
For the retired Johnson and Johnson software engineer, the tradition continues, albeit in slightly different form. A lifelong supporter of schools and education, Liz's personal philanthropy spans from San Jose to Tanzania.
"However you define your community—it might be your neighborhood, your town, or the entire world—your influence is greater than you think," she says.
Liz (left) and Michele today
Closer to home, Liz feels strongly about supporting Santa Clara University. Why? Because it's a matter of trust. "The University has proven themselves for over a century," she explains. SCU's Jesuit tradition also resonates deeply because, beyond educating its students, it also tends to the "mind, body, and soul." She appreciates that the University keeps its donors informed as to how it uses the resources they provide. "They always say 'thank you' and then they thank you again—donors appreciate it when organizations take time to express that."
Liz recognizes that, in order for SCU to thrive, its leadership must prepare not only for today's needs but also anticipate changes to come. She wants her recent bequest intention—announced during her reunion giving campaign—to help provide the financial flexibility the University needs to respond to unforeseen challenges and opportunities.
"My Uncle Frank attended Santa Clara in the '30s, which was a very different place than when his children were there in the '60s," she says, "and it evolved again in the late '70s when I was a student there. It's shown that it can keep growing and evolving for each generation over time."
By including a bequest to SCU in your will or living trust, you are ensuring that we can continue providing educational opportunities for the next generation. To learn more contact the Gift Planning team at 408-554-2108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Santa Clara University 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 give to Santa Clara University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053-1400, or its successor thereto, ______________ [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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU where you agree to make a gift to SCU 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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