The Voice: Winter 2003

The Voice

New Year’s resolution: update my estate plan

by Dave Vander Wert, Director of Planned Giving

New Year’s resolutions are popular at this time of the year. Add this to your list: update/complete your estate plan. This isn’t really what people normally think of when making resolutions but it is necessary as part of the overall stewardship of the resources we have all been blessed with.

Estate tax laws are rapidly changing, making it a good idea to review your estate plan yearly to make sure it is still effective. Questions you need to consider: are your objectives still being met? Do the guardians of your children need to be changed? Should you consider a different person as your executor? Is your charitable intent still the same?

A good number of friends of Dordt College have admitted to me recently, “I need to make an estate plan yet” or “My plan is out of date.” Now is a great time to make this a priority for the new year.

We can help you with this planning process by showing you how to benefit your children and favorite charities. We’ll show you creative ways to maximize
your gift impact and minimize your tax exposure. Choosing the right assets to give to children and the right asset to give to charity can mean a significant tax savings to you and allow you to pass on more to your beneficiaries.

Last and most important: once your plan is complete, inform your family members of its contents to help preserve family harmony and prevent future problems. Even in our small circles many families have suffered needlessly because of incorrect assumptions about Mom and Dad’s estate plan. Don’t forget to inform the charities you have named as well. This information is critical to charities for future planning. Planned gift expectancies provide charities with a “sales forecast” or business plan which determines whether future needs or programs can be a reality or remain a dream. All credible charities will respect your wishes whether it be for recognition or privacy.

We encourage you to remember Dordt College in your estate plans and keep us informed of your plans. We would be glad to answer any questions or arrange an appointment: Dordt College Advancement Office 712-722-6020.

Spring Debt Reduction Drive

The annual Spring Debt Reduction Drive will begin on March 1. Thirty-five students will once again be calling parents and friends of the college to ask for a gift to pay down the debt on current academic facilities. Churches will be asked to take special offerings for the Spring Debt Reduction Drive, and mailings will be sent to various constituents asking them to consider giving a gift. Last year Dordt College received $152,276 for the Spring Debt Reduction Drive; the year before that, $155,943. Our goal this year is $160,000. The Spring Debt Reduction Drive allows us to reduce the debt on current academic facilities without adding to our students’ tuition.

Spring Phonathon

As Dordt College matures, her alumni take on increasing importance. More than half of the present members of the board of trustees are alumni—now lending their experience and expertise in directing the college. Alumni are also contributing to Dordt College financially in important ways. This spring’s phonathon program provides two new opportunities for alumni to give back to their alma mater with gifts that will make a difference for students and alumni.

The board of trustees recently authorized the purchase of a home adjacent to campus and has designated it to be used as an alumni guest house. The home will be available for overnight lodging as well as meeting space for alumni, faculty, and students. One area will house alumni memorabilia—providing a visual history of the college and the alumni association. Renovations and redecorating costs are estimated at $50,000.

For more than twenty years the alumni association has awarded an Alumni Scholarship to junior students. Our scholarships, however, have not kept pace with tuition increases. With a significant infusion of cash we could award larger upperclass scholarships and begin new scholarship efforts designed to attract new students to Dordt College.

Gifts to the spring phonathon may be designated for either or both of these projects. Our goal is to raise $100,000 to be split between these two efforts. With a gift of $100, you will receive a SUB memory bank as a memento of the old student union building—and our “thank you” for your generous support.

Bequest and Planned Gift Income

During the last quarter, Dordt College received $31,641.75 in bequests and matured annuity income. We thank these friends of the college whose gifts will
continue providing income for the college.

One new annuity of $10,000 was funded during this quarter, and several friends of Dordt College indicated to us the college is remembered in their estate plans. These bequest commitments will surpass $4,300,000 when realized.