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Support MSOE

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MSOE alumni can compete professionally with graduates from any university in the country. If we are able to improve our ranking through your participation in the Annual Fund, the reputation that comes with being an alumnus of MSOE with grow and your professional opportunities will follow.

Recently, MSOE has had several people step up to the plate and make a formal planned gift commitment. They have pledged IRAs, life insurance policies and trust monies.

For $25,000, a person can set up a named endowed scholarship at MSOE. Remember, the money does not have to come out of your pocket today, it is a promise of a gift in the future. It is the first step, but an important step, in understanding the importance and the impact of a planned gift—it is truly a way to touch future generations students for years to come.

MSOE has put a recent emphasis on increasing its endowment. Endowment funds are vital to supporting student scholarships.

Despite MSOE’s rich heritage and strong placement, our endowment is substantially smaller than that of our peer institutions. This lack of substantial endowment leads to two issues:

  1. When publications rank undergraduate institutions they weigh a number of factors, one of which is “alumni satisfaction”. In order to measure an intangible such as this, the publications use the alumni donor rate as a measuring stick.
    • For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 the MSOE alumni donor rate was 12%.
    • At peer institutions, the alumni donor rate fluctuates between 18% and 30%.
    • Simply put, our competition boasts endowment funds at five to 20 times larger than ours. MSOE has a ways to go. Our lack of alumni participation impacts our ability to increase our ranking amongst these peer institutions.
  2. A low endowment also means that we lack the dollars needed for upgrading labs, developing new facilities and giving more scholarship aid to deserving students. For example:
    • If MSOE had $600 million dollars in our endowment, the annual interest distribution would amount to approximately $30 million. These funds would be independent of any income derived from tuition, grants, donations and other income. That money could be used in a variety of ways, including scholarships, to attract high-caliber students.
    • The funds that the MSOE endowment currently distributes, while important, are not sufficient to maintain current programs, let alone grow them. As a result the scholarships that we give are, to a great degree, unfunded and the challenges of new classrooms and equipment are left unmet.
    • Essential to understanding the role that a healthy endowment plays in the stability of a university is that the endowment corpus is never spent. Therefore, it will generate an income stream in perpetuity to continue meeting the needs of the university. If the corpus grows with inflation, it will provide an important on-going revenue source to underpin the financial strength of the institution.

A planned gift usually consists of a larger amount, and is given at some point in the future when the donor is either in a position to make a larger gift or no longer needs his or her assets.

Planned gifts can be unrestricted or made for a specific purpose, and have a large impact on MSOE’s endowment. Growing MSOE’s endowment is vital to ensuring ample scholarship opportunities and facility upgrades for students, as well as giving MSOE a competitive edge against peer institutions.

No, it is not. Making a bequest to MSOE through your will or trust is the simplest form of planned gift that a donor can make. When drafting, or re-visiting your will, first determine whether you will leave a set amount to MSOE or a percentage of your total estate.

After determining which type (amount or percentage) you would like to gift, the only other decision you need to make is whether the monies will go for a specific purpose (such as a named and/or endowed scholarship) or into the general fund to be used as needed by the university.

Work with your attorney and recommend that this language is used: “I bequeath the sum of $___ (or a percentage) to Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, to be used or disposed of as its Board of Regents in its sole discretion deems appropriate (or for a specific purpose).”

If you or your attorney has any questions about the process or the specific language, please contact MSOE’s director of planned giving, Scott Weaver at (414) 277-7148 and he can assist you.

If you are comfortable with telling us about your gift, please do so either by calling Scott or by sending a copy of the provision to the MSOE Development Office at 1025 N. Broadway Milwaukee, WI 53202

Your intention to support MSOE through your will not only assists the university in our planning for the future, but it allows us to thank you personally for your thoughtfulness and generosity. It also enables us to recognize your commitment to MSOE. Your example may even encourage others to do make a similar contribution.

Thank you for touching the future by helping the generations of students to come.

It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is fast approaching. There are many ways to lower your tax bill and support MSOE’s mission, but year-end decisions that affect your taxes will need to be made fairly quickly.

One of the strongest motivators for initiating activity prior to the end of the year is the certainty of the 2011 tax rules and regulations. The uncertainty that 2012 brings—including a potential end of the charitable deduction as we know it—is a reason to act now. 2012 may bring a whole new set of tax rules and regulations which may result in unfavorable consequences and lost opportunities that might never be recaptured.

Year-end charitable gifting options that could lower your taxes include gifts of cash, gifts of stock, gifts of life insurance, and bequests:

Cash is the easiest way to give. Cash gifts can lower your annual tax bills if the gift is postmarked by Dec. 31, 2011. Call MSOE directly at (414) 277-7151 for more details.

Gifts of stocks and bonds are extremely tax-efficient gifting options. Appreciated securities offer a two-fold tax savings by avoiding capital gains and receiving an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift.

If you are considering this kind of a gift, please call MSOE’s director of planned giving, Scott Weaver, at (414) 277-7148 or weaver@msoe.edu well in advance of December 31. It is important to get this ball rolling right away due to the specific rules, regulations and deadlines that are in place.

Gifts of life insurance free of policy loans allow donors who no longer need the policy to take advantage of a charitable tax deduction. For a paid-up policy, the donor benefits from an income tax deduction equal to the replacement value of the policy—or, the tax basis (premiums paid to date of gift)—whichever is less.

If premiums remain to be paid on the policy, the future premiums can be deducted from the donor’s income tax on an annual basis. In this case, MSOE must be named as both policy owner and beneficiary. To obtain a gift or income tax deduction, all incidents of ownership and rights in the policy must be assigned to the charity. Again, if you are interested in this option, or have questions, contact Scott Weaver at weaver@msoe.edu or (414) 277-7148.

Charitable remainder trusts are popular planned giving vehicles from a tax efficiency perspective. Charitable remainder trusts allow donors to reduce estate taxes, defer capital gains tax and claim an income tax deduction.

Charitable remainder trusts provide distributions of a specified payment to one or more persons. The payment may be structured as an annuity or structured payment. Nonprofits receive the remainder from the trust upon the termination of the trust, either upon the death of the last beneficiary or after a stated period of time.

There are some favorable aspects of this technique that are available for this year and, hopefully, for 2012. As the law is currently structured, these same favorable aspects are scheduled to disappear thereafter and revert to a more restrictive dollar amount in 2013. Your attorney and tax advisor can determine whether these rules will impact you favorably.

In most cases of advanced tax planning and charitable gifting, donors should consult with their tax and financial advisors well in advance of the year-end.

MSOE has a gift acceptance policy that guides us regarding giving assets and donors need to ensure their donation can be properly accepted and accounted for so that the deduction is valid.

Charitable giving is essential in long-term financial planning and as a wealth transfer strategy. Philanthropic intent and tax advantaged gifting go hand in hand. The advantages of philanthropic financial planning are significant for donors, and include tax efficiency, asset diversification, and retention of tax dollars.

An individual’s opportunity relies on their tax bracket and a number of other factors. Additionally, and perhaps equally important, is how the gift will impact the MSOE community. Through your personal philanthropy, you allow others to experience what they might not otherwise be able to because of a number of reasons. Your gift will make an MSOE education a reality for a student who otherwise could not afford it. Let’s face it, we have all had help at some point in our careers. Now is the time to pay that help forward. It is your turn to provide the next rung of the ladder and to help the current generation and those to come.

MSOE’s Director of Planned Giving, Scott Weaver J.D., discussed this scenario with Milwaukee-area attorney Bradley Kalscheur, who is a partner in the Wealth Planning Services Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich. Here’s what he says to his clients who ask the same question:

“If you are over 70 ½ and have an individual retirement account (IRA), you must take minimum required distributions (MRD) from the IRA each year, whether you need the money or not.

If you are charitably inclined, have not taken your MRD for 2011, and do not need the distribution to meet other financial obligations, consider making a donation of your MRD directly from your IRA to a public charity (which includes MSOE).

This direct transfer must be completed before December 31, and has a limit of $100,000. Contact your IRA Trustee to arrange this type of distribution, because the funds must be transferred directly from the IRA to the qualifying charity.”

If this type of opportunity interests you, it is a simple decision and easy to implement.

Please call Scott C. Weaver, director of Planned Giving at (414) 277-7148 for further information or to answer any questions.

Whenever someone gives a gift to MSOE, it is a conscious decision to benefit the university. There are two types of gifts to choose from, both of which are vital to the success of MSOE:

The gifts that alumni, parents and friends of the University make in response to yearly requests for support comprise The Annual Fund. Annual giving is a way in which the largest numbers of constituents are able to support MSOE. The Annual Fund includes unrestricted gifts and gifts restricted for current operations. Gifts to the Fund are expended in the fiscal year in which they are received.

Annual gifts support the annual operating budget. They provide the needed financial resources to support academic programs, scholarships, equipment and materials purchases, computers for labs, student services, as well as academic and co-curricular programming and activities. MSOE depends on annual gifts to sustain its position of academic excellence.

The other type of gift is an endowment fund gift, which is given for a specific purpose by the donor to ensure MSOE’s perpetual existence. These funds provide a restricted pot of money from which a portion of the interest is used to fund and support on-going expenses. These expenses cover academic programs, scholarships for students, renovation of physical space or a myriad of other university needs. Endowed gifts are established at varying dollar amounts and, once established, they free up money by guaranteeing certain needs will be paid for by your fund and not from the university’s operating expenses. This support allows the university to expand its efforts in other areas knowing that your fund guarantees the payment of the program which you have chosen to support.

If this type of gift appeals to you, please contact Scott Weaver, JD, director of planned giving, at (414) 277-7148.

He has a list of projects that may appeal to you, ranging from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars—something to fit everyone’s budget. It can be done anonymously or it can be a program that is named in honor or memory of yourself or a loved one. The program can be tailor-made and designed in such a way as to support your very specific interest. You are only limited by your creativity in your desire to support MSOE.

The choice is easy; the choice is yours. A planned gift is the gift that anyone can make and one that MSOE cannot do without.

MSOE’s Director of Planned Giving, Scott Weaver J.D., discussed this scenario recently with Milwaukee-area attorney Bradley Kalscheur, partner in the Wealth Planning Services Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich. He explains how estate planning can protect your assets and potentially reduce your taxes:

“Many people hesitate to create an estate plan because they are concerned about the cost to prepare the plan. One consideration is that by having a properly drafted estate plan, the costs of administering an estate will be reduced. Most estate planning attorneys meet with clients to develop the plan, and at the end of that meeting can give clients an estimate of the cost to complete the plan. If that estimate is more than a client is willing to pay, most attorneys would not bill the potential client for that first meeting. But, the client at least has some knowledge of what is entailed in the estate planning process.

Without an estate plan, assets pass to heirs according to the laws of intestacy, which vary in each state. There are several disadvantages of intestacy. First, only a limited share of estate assets may pass to desired beneficiaries. Second, those heirs have no control over the appointment of the personal representative and the person appointed must post a bond. Lastly, if there are minor children, there is no control over the appointment of their guardian.

By contrast, there are several advantages in having a will or living trust:

  • First, by having a will or trust, a person has the ability to consider a beneficiary’s individual characteristics, circumstances and needs. Some children may have special needs, some may have independent means and may not need as much of an inheritance as others, while others may need asset protection from creditors (like a potentially divorcing spouse).
  • Second, by having a will or trust, personal and/or real estate property may be left to non-family members like a favorite charity or friend.
  • Finally, by having a will or trust, a person is able to choose the person who would serve as personal representative of the estate and guardian of minor children.

If a person wants to leave money to someone other than family, having a will or trust is not the only mechanism to accomplish that gift. A more tax effective vehicle to leave a gift to charity is by naming the charity as a beneficiary of an individual retirement account (IRA). An IRA is subject to both estate tax by inclusion in the participant’s estate, and the beneficiary is subject to income tax when distributions are made. If the IRA is left to a charity, the estate would receive a charitable deduction, and the IRA would not be subject to income tax because the charity is a tax-exempt entity. Any beneficiary designation on an IRA needs to be properly coordinated with your will and/or trust.”

All of these options require a certain level of knowledge and understanding. MSOE is here to help you initiate this process and/or to work with you if you decide to leave a planned gift to the university. Please contact Scott Weaver directly if you have any questions about planned giving and MSOE. Scott’s direct number is (414) 277-7148 and his email is weaver@msoe.edu.

As we have discussed previously, annual gifts support the annual operating budget. They provide the needed financial resources to support academic programs, scholarships, equipment and materials purchases, computers for labs, student services, as well as academic and co-curricular programming and activities. Annual fund support is crucial for the year-to-year sustainability of the university.

To ensure the university’s long-term sustainability we must develop a larger pool of endowed funds. In most cases, endowed funds do not rely on annual contributions from the donors or businesses. An endowed gift is money that is safeguarded and invested very carefully as directed by MSOE’s Board of Regents. These gifts are made to last in perpetuity.

A planned, endowed gift is traditionally made with a larger sum of money or appreciated assets. This gift may be planned to coincide with the end of one’s life. It is a gift that is not given until after death when there is no further need for the assets. You can provide MSOE with specific stocks—appreciated or depreciated—bonds or a brokerage portfolio. The university will work with you during your life to ensure the gift is made quickly and efficiently. In addition to a gift of stocks, bonds and other assets, a simple way to make a planned gift to MSOE is by naming the university as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or of a qualified retirement plan.

Nearly any one of your current assets may be left to the university after your death without compromising your current financial position. You use your money as you need to use it for your care and well-being with no restrictions.

Once the decision is made to make a planned gift to MSOE, we will work with you to determine how the gift will be utilized. Scholarships are of the utmost importance at MSOE, but there may be someone that you might wish to honor or remember and we can certainly accommodate that request.

This is a wonderful way for you to touch the future. Please contact MSOE Director of Planned Giving, Scott Weaver if you have any questions about planned giving and MSOE. Scott’s direct number is (414) 277-7148 and his email is weaver@msoe.edu.

This is a question MSOE’s Director of Planned Giving, Scott Weaver J.D., often asks when meeting with a donor. For almost everyone, the answer revolves around family, and securing loved ones’ futures. Many people also want to help promote MSOE’s mission, but perhaps feel they’re not able to do both. Most are surprised when they learn they can simultaneously make a lasting impact on their family and on MSOE. Weaver has helped many people achieve this dream. Read below to learn how he can help you.

“My obligation is to show donors how they can make their dreams come true in spite of their perceived or very real obligations. I recently met with a donor who wanted to give MSOE a substantial gift, but felt that he needed to take care of his adult daughter with needs. He presumed that she would live on after his death because of her relatively good health and that she, at some point in the future, could put MSOE into her will.

“As we discussed the importance of providing her with monthly assistance, I could feel his sense of obligation and devotion to her. After all, she is his daughter and she needs his help. Being respectful of that, I suggested he speak with his attorney, who could set up a trust for his daughter’s benefit. Her bills would be paid by the attorney’s staff, she would have monthly spending money and, most importantly, the corpus could be retained and prevented from being spent frivolously.

“I then suggested that he could still benefit MSOE after his daughter’s needs had been met. We talked at great length about HIS dreams of helping students get the same great education that he got, and getting them started on the road to success. He believes in the American dream and wants to share that belief with others, and he has a passion for MSOE. We discussed a named and endowed scholarship and he was thrilled.

“The details were easy to take care of and I showed him how both of his dreams would ultimately come true.

“By the time the conversation ended, this alumnus had peace of mind knowing that his daughter could be generously and faithfully cared for the rest of her life. In addition, the university that he loved and that he felt had given him the tools needed to be successful, could also benefit. He would touch the future by helping students in perpetuity through a named scholarship.

“There is always a need for donor support at MSOE, whether for a few dollars for a student project or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a building update. The university’s needs are many. We need to stay current to become one of the nation’s premier undergraduate, technology-based universities. I am hopeful that a need of the university coincides with a donor’s interest. Every little bit helps, and the donor can relate to that concept. In almost every conversation, I am told that the donor just wishes that they could do more by making a larger gift to make a real impact on the future of MSOE. It is my job to make that wish come true.

“Like everything else in life, it all starts with a conversation. Please call me today at (414) 277-7148 so that we can start that conversation.”

We have introduced planned giving through our internal and external marketing efforts to the Board of Regents, the Corporation Board, alumni, faculty and staff, students and friends of the university.

Establishing a planned giving program for the university is of paramount importance. Successfully building an endowment fund is a very intensive and deliberate process.

Identifying, cultivating and creating tax-wise estate plans for our donors takes time; yet, even at this early stage, we are seeing wonderful signs of success.

We are placing a special emphasis on sustaining and increasing participation in the Annual Fund, which provides immediate financial resources for scholarship and program development.

However, once involved, an individual or family can consider making a lifetime tribute gift to MSOE, which enables the donor to have an impact on the future of the university in a way that is most meaningful to them and their family.

Planned giving efforts are critically important in order to build a substantial endowment fund to secure the financial future of MSOE. Endowment distribution provides funding for scholarships, continued program support and ongoing physical development of the university.

There are a variety of options available to prospective donors. For example, Weaver is working with a recently graduated alumna and her husband, who are evaluating the possibility of designating the proceeds of a life insurance policy to MSOE. This provision will accomplish a goal that is meaningful to them and impactful on the university. They can fund such a vehicle at a fraction of the cost of the eventual gift that will fund a project in perpetuity.

At the other end of the spectrum Weaver is working with an alumnus and his wife, both in their 70s, who are discussing their desire to have a major impact on the quality of education for generations of students to come. They are intrigued by an innovative academic program concept which, if endowed, would enhance current and future enrollment to MSOE and will clearly establish their legacy.

One of MSOE’s mid-career alumnus understands the importance that participation in national and international competitions plays in exposing MSOE’s outstanding academic reputation and is considering an endowed gift to support these efforts.

Exciting things are happening and Weaver would love for you to share your hopes and dreams for MSOE with him. If you can dream it, perhaps together we can make it happen. Please call or email him today and we can start the conversation: (414) 277-7148 or weaver@msoe.edu.

It is important to have a blueprint for how you would like your estate to be distributed. Would you take a trip without some planning or at least a GPS or map? Would you throw a wedding or picnic without a plan?

Why would you trust your estate to the whims of those left behind? Not only is it perilous, but can cost thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to make it turn out correctly.

You may have done this planning years ago—however, you should routinely review your estate plan. Tax code changes; determine if you need to have it revised or up-dated. It certainly can’t hurt, and will give you peace of mind.

Might we help you with this process? We can assist you by talking you through your options and perhaps suggest ideas that might simplify your estate plans.

MSOE can assist you in getting everything prepared and organized so that when see your attorney, it will be a quick and efficient process. By being well-prepared, it may also save you money. We can help to bring sharp focus to your estate plan and to introduce cost and tax saving advantage—such as making a provision to benefit MSOE—that will have a lasting impact.

This service will not cost you anything. We value you as an integral part of the MSOE family. This process ultimately will benefit everyone involved.

Let’s start the conversation. Call me, Scott Weaver, director of Planned Giving, at (414) 277-7148 or email me at weaver@msoe.edu.

Perhaps this is fairly heady stuff to intrude upon your relaxation, but what better time to do it than when you have no other pressing immediate issues and you can actually take the time to … think. In all reality, by not reflecting on your estate plan, you are simply inviting disaster to occur. Failure to leave your loved ones without a plan means the state will dictate how your heirs may proceed, with the assistance of court-appointed attorney.

That is a pretty ugly reality check—a government entity telling your family what to do, how to do it, when to do it AND charging your estate at every step of the way.

Why not avoid that pain and heartache by making an estate plan? You can make the plan and appoint who you would like to carry out your plan to conform to your wishes. This process is actually pretty easy and MSOE can help you along the way.

While we don’t draft documents, our experience in the fields of both estate planning and investment advice might be just what you need as you begin the planning process. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone help you understand where you are today and help talk you through the process to where you would like to be tomorrow? We’ll help you concentrate your thoughts and direct your efforts more efficiently so that the time you spend with your financial planner, accountant or attorney is wisely spent.

You are a member of the MSOE family and we would like to provide continuing value to you and your family. We would like to be there to assist you as your life evolves. The learning process never stops and neither does the value of your degree. Your relationship with your alma mater is a lifelong one.

If this concept appeals to you, why not call Scott Weaver, director of Planned Giving, at (414) 277-7148 and start the conversation.

A great education does not come cheap. At a private institution, the price tag is even higher. Thankfully for our students, we have many generous alumni and donors who contribute to our Annual Fund. This much needed financial support provides assistance in the form of scholarships that help to defray some of the cost.

To make an MSOE education possible for these deserving students, we are hard at work raising more money through the Annual Fund.

As an alumnus, we count on your support. You remember the days as a student when you received generous support from MSOE. Whether it was through a scholarship, or through your exposure to activities in a classroom, lab, or work space donated by a benefactor; you were touched by a donor’s generosity.

As you consider the educational future of your own children and grandchildren, MSOE is hopeful that you consider a provision to provide for the students of our future. A planned gift to MSOE is easy and painless.

This fall, take a look at your estate plan and consider a provision to MSOE. After you provide for your family’s needs, remember MSOE and the great education that prepared you for your career. A career that provided you with the opportunity to live a certain lifestyle and provide for your family.

You are part of our family, and we are asking for your help to touch the future. The gift you make can take the form of cash, a life insurance policy or any number of other assets. A planned gift can be small or large. Regardless, it will make an impact and will help sustain MSOE’s place in the educational landscape. Please, contact Scott Weaver at (414) 277-7148 or at weaver@msoe.edu and start the conversation.

The death of a loved one or friend can be a time of turmoil and uncertainty. People often feel helpless and may think, “What can I do to help?” Or perhaps the birthday of a loved one is approaching and you’d like to do something special.

Sending a memorial gift in remembrance of a loved one or friend is a wonderful way to ensure their memory lives on. Your name will be printed in the “Memorial Gift” section of the annual Donor Report, and a note will be sent to the deceased person’s family indicating that you made a gift in their name. The best part? All of the money is used to support MSOE students and scholarships. What better way to honor a loved one’s memory?

In addition, you may want to consider setting up a memorial fund in your own name and having it included it in your obituary. Let your parents, spouses and children know that you valued the time that you spent at MSOE and cherish the friendships you made. Simply direct that memorial gifts be sent to MSOE in your name. Every dollar donated is used to support our scholarship efforts.

What better way to be remembered than by giving to others? It means so much to us and to the students who ultimately receive the scholarship assistance in your name. Please contact Scott Weaver, J.D. at (414) 277-7148 or at weaver@msoe.edu and start the conversation.