Planned Giving

Gift Planning Can Start Early

Jim Sorace

Jim Sorace ’84

Jim Sorace, an alumnus of the Class of 1984, has been a donor to Ramapo College since removing his commencement gown and mortar board. He worked for 37 years in the finance division of New York City-based Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and recently shared his thoughts on the importance of giving back.

Q: How and why did you become involved with The Ramapo Foundation?
A: I always thought about giving back, and when I graduated I had a job that offered its employees a match to their donation. Guardian still matches my annual fund contribution even into my retirement. Ramapo College had given me so much when I was a student, I felt helping the College philanthropically was the best way for me to give back.

Q: How did you first learn about planned giving/gifts of life insurance and whom did you consult with when making the decision to give?
A: Because I worked in the insurance business, I knew there were options. It’s not complicated at all. When you take out a life insurance policy, you always name a beneficiary. In my case, I listed Ramapo College as the recipient of the funds.

Q: What do you enjoy most about creating a planned gift/gift of life insurance?
A: Any gift helps. My intention was to give back so the College can continue to grow. There has been so much growth here on the campus since I was a student. It’s wonderful! When I made the decision to give, I didn’t want to focus on one particular area. My unrestricted gift goes toward multiple uses — scholarships, capital projects, whatever the school needs. That’s what makes giving back for me so special.

Q: What advice would you have for someone who is considering creating a gift for the first time?
A: The amount isn’t necessarily what’s important because every bit helps. My advice is to give what you can be comfortable with and what fits into your budget. Even a small gift can grow and make an impact. Talk to your insurance agent or an accountant to discuss options.

Get Started Today

Like Jim Sorace, you, too, can leave a lasting legacy at Ramapo College. Simply contact Cathleen Davey at 201-684-7615 or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Ramapo College Foundation 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 The Ramapo College Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at , 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 Ramapo College 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 Ramapo College 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 Ramapo College 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 Ramapo College Foundation where you agree to make a gift to The Ramapo College 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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