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Community Service and Charity

Donors Peggy and Ron Koons

Donors Peggy and Ron Koons

The Florida State University freshman class of 2008-09 possesses many exceptional qualities, such as an average SAT score of 1265 and ACT score of 28. One quality among these students that might go unnoticed, however, is a penchant for community service prior to arriving at FSU.

This attribute is readily acknowledged at the Center for Leadership and Civic Education, specifically through its Service Scholar Program. Each year, 12 incoming freshmen that have exhibited an outstanding record of service and leadership in their communities are selected to join the program, which provides a renewable four-year scholarship. The Service Scholar Program is made possible primarily through private support. One such supporter is Ron Koons, (Arts & Sciences '51).

After serving three years in the Army during World War II, Mr. Koons decided to attend Florida State. He stayed busy during his years at FSU pursuing a degree in economics, running track, holding a Golden Key membership, helping to establish the campus's first chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and serving on the university senate. Mr. Koons credits the university and his time on the senate with making him a more outgoing person and preparing him to enter a career in real estate development.

His passion for community service and Florida State matched well with the mission and vision of the Service Scholar Program. "These youngsters just get out there and serve their community," Mr. Koons says. "That just impressed me. These are our future leaders." He was so impressed by these students that he has established four charitable gift annuities with Florida State, all of them designated for students who have provided volunteer service to their communities prior to coming to FSU.

As Mr. Koons knows, the charitable gift annuity is a unique giving vehicle that enables him to meet his philanthropic goals while also providing him and his wife with a reliable stream of income. After establishing his first charitable gift annuity in 2001, Mr. Koons appreciated the security of knowing it would produce steady payments for the rest of his life. "That is especially important in the current economy," he says. And thanks to the generous support of Mr. Koons, future students with a passion for giving back to their communities will be rewarded during their time at FSU.


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Florida State 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 Florida State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Tallahassee, Florida, 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the FSU Foundation 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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