Planned Giving

Scholarship Donors Make Giving a Family Affair

Nicole, Nancy, Jacob, Lindsey and Bob Kossowsky

(L-R) Nicole, Nancy, Jacob, Lindsey and Bob Kossowsky

Q&A With the Kossowsky Family

1) When did you first become active at Ramapo?
We became involved after our son, Jacob, transferred to the College. We met Dr. Peter Mercer and his wife, Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer, and became involved in starting the Havemeyer Edible Garden. We enjoyed meeting faculty and staff members and were pleased with the education and support Jacob received from them.

2) What was the motivation for establishing three scholarships at Ramapo?
We wanted to honor the accomplishments of our children by helping those students who needed financial assistance to acquire a good educational foundation. We have raised our children with the understanding of the importance of giving back to the community.

We first established the R and N Scholarship to thank Ramapo College for the education and guidance they provided for Jacob. We appreciated all the support he received on all levels, not just academics. Since Jake has been a volunteer firefighter since he was 16, we decided to direct our scholarship to students involved in community service.

The JDK scholarship was created when Jake graduated in 2010. For graduation, Jake's aunt gave a gift to Ramapo College in his honor. We decided to add to this gift and established a scholarship in his name. Jake and his wife, Lindsey, manage this scholarship by reviewing the applicants and selecting the recipient. Jake and Lindsey have the opportunity to meet with the recipient at the annual scholarship dinner where Jake is able to share his experiences at Ramapo with them.

The NDK scholarship celebrates our daughter, Nicole. Nicole has had a diagnosed learning difference since she was 9 years old. In spite of her learning difficulties, especially with testing, she persevered and graduated from Manhattanville College, receiving an MAT degree in art education. She also has three New York state teacher certifications, one in art and two in special education. We wanted to honor Nicole's remarkable strength and determination in accomplishing the goals she set for herself. By choosing her scholarship recipient, she will not only help the student monetarily but will also have the opportunity to share her struggles and how she overcame them.

3) Can you describe your interaction with the scholarship recipients?
It is always very special to meet our scholarship recipients and to further learn about who they are. It is heartwarming to hear their appreciation of our support, and we feel so good knowing we are helping make their college experience possible.

4) Any advice to others considering establishing scholarships?
Our advice is...DO IT! When we read each applicant's essay, it confirms our commitment to giving others the opportunity to have a good education and to make a difference in their lives. One day, they will hopefully be able to pay it forward and do the same for someone else.

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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