Providing for Increased Excellence in Education

Cynthia Schumacher and Nina Shuman

Cynthia Schumacher and Nina Shuman

Cynthia Schumacher and longtime friend Nina Shuman spent more than 30 years of their lives as teachers. "Nina and I were blessed with the opportunity to receive an outstanding education," Cynthia says. "We believe that every child in this country should have that same chance." Though both retired in 1985, they have continued their work to provide quality public education through their philanthropic activities.

Most recently, Cynthia established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that will ultimately support the College of Teacher Education at Florida State University. Responsible for educating teachers for service in the classroom from pre-K through grade 12, curricula in the college are built around three pedagogical arenas: literacy and reading, math and science, and special education. Cynthia's CGA will ultimately support the research, teaching and service being done in the literacy and reading area.

The path toward making this gift began in 1946, when Cynthia came to Florida State College for Women (renamed Florida State University the following year when the institution became co-educational). "Both Nina and I separately decided to become teachers," says Cynthia, explaining that though the two attended Florida State during the same four years, they did not meet until after graduating in 1950. "Since teaching is by nature an altruistic profession, helping others and giving back is not unusual."

Indeed, both women have given generously to their alma mater over the years. "During our teaching years, we were not working in a profession that enabled us to garner much wealth," Nina says. "So we began gradually. In recent years, we have learned more about saving and investing our resources, which has enabled each of us to support university projects or programs in a more substantial way."

In 2002, the two established the Phoenix Fund for Professional Development in Public Schools. Its purpose is to create working partnerships among the college's faculty and students, K-12 public school teachers and administrators, public school students and local communities.

As Cynthia and Nina have grown older, their thoughts have turned to other ways to give. The charitable gift annuity was particularly attractive to Cynthia as it allowed her to make a large gift while also providing her with some financial security. Receipt of some family assets made it possible for her to make such a gift two years ago and, through wise investing, to expand it again this year. Nina is planning to pursue a similar strategy in the future.

"Just as donating to scholarships and endowments are excellent methods of supporting the university, establishing a charitable gift annuity is another wonderful way to contribute," Cynthia says.


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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.