Planned Giving

The Charitable Gift Annuity Option: An Interview with Recent Ramapo Donor Frank Rodriguez

Frank Rodriguez smilingHow did your connection with Ramapo College begin?
After I retired from Western Union in 1991, I tutored college students in statistics including some students from Ramapo College. I enjoyed the experience and appreciated the many thank you notes. From my first visit to the Ramapo College campus, I was impressed with its ambiance and sense of purpose.

How did you become involved with Friends of Ramapo?
In 1994, Judy Webster, a friend and member of the Board invited me to join the Friends. In 2002, I became president. This year, I serve as a past president advisor to the new Friends' president, Margaret Mullen, who is a dear friend and colleague from my graduate school days at Columbia.

Can you describe your recent gift to Ramapo College?
I established a charitable gift annuity for the Ramapo College Foundation. One portion of the gift will fund a scholarship endowment; the other, a donation to the College's Nursing Program. The scholarship will benefit students pursuing a degree in the School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences.

How did you learn about gift annuities and why did you choose this type of gift?
When I learned about charitable gift annuities at a Board of Governors presentation, I thought that the benefits of the annuity option looked like a win/win for everyone-an opportunity to support Ramapo students and at the same time provide a personal benefit as well. My wife, Judith, and I will receive a stream of payments for both our lifetimes, an immediate tax deduction and Ramapo College students will benefit greatly.

Why did you decide to make a gift to Ramapo College now?
This year, Judy and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. I wanted to commemorate that and Judy's many years in pharmacy and community involvement, in a special way with a gift to Ramapo College. Judy earned her pharmacy degree from Columbia University and then years later and while working, her MBA from Rutgers University. She's had extensive community pharmacy experience and has received awards from her peers, and recognitions from the community and the state in her many elected, appointed and community service posts.

What was the most compelling reason for this gift?
Establishing a gift annuity, a bequest or any other planned gift is leaving a living legacy that keeps on giving. Supporting the College's wonderful goals and encouraging our students to continue their education is so important to us. From among those students, I'm confident we'll find leaders of tomorrow. As I became more involved with Ramapo, I felt I had an opportunity and an obligation to help the College. President Mercer said recently that the state now funds only about 27 percent of the College's operating costs. My gift and those of others are all that more important in these challenging fiscal times.

Francis J. (Frank) Rodriguez, M.S., CPhT is past president of the Friends of Ramapo and currently on the Board of Governors. He is a telecommunications consultant with RCC Consultants, Inc. His wife, Judith Martinez Rodriguez, RPh, MBA, FACA, FAPhA, is a registered pharmacist in community practice and also serves on the New Jersey Drug Utilization Review Board. Their son, Lt. Col. Stuart A. Rodriguez (USAFR), MBA is also a commercial pilot. Their granddaughter, Olivia, Frank says, "is a loving, precocious grammar school student!"

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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