Transforming Ideas Into Opportunities

Richard and Sharon RodineYou can never underestimate where sharing an idea might lead," said Sharon Rodine.

Working in Washington, D.C., to recruit and train women for public office, it was after traveling to an event in Tennessee that she fully realized the impact of Carrie Chapman Catt, another Iowa State alumna. Sharon was attending a celebration honoring the passage of the 19th Amendment, as Tennessee's vote was the final one needed, and the program championed Catt as an important leader of the movement.

"I remember wondering why I had never heard about Carrie Chapman Catt when I was a student!" she said. "It revealed to me the need for more political leadership, education and engagement opportunities at Iowa State — and it was the perfect way to honor her legacy."

So Sharon wrote to then-President Jischke, outlining her idea — to create a center that would provide political leadership development, foster research and provide opportunities for civic engagement. Soon enough, her ideas started coming to fruition with assistance from Iowa State University Foundation staff. "The timing was right," she said. "The next thing I knew, we became lead donors."

Making the Impossible Possible

Richard and Sharon Rodine were in their early 40s and raising young children at the time, and it didn't seem feasible to give that level of support. That's when they were introduced to planned giving.

"The Iowa State University Foundation was helpful in exploring ways we could make a significant gift at that point in our lives," said Richard. "We were excited to find a way to create an impact gift and still manage the financial responsibilities of a career and growing family. Our planned gift turned out to be a great option because we have been able to shape our giving and legacy through the years as the needs of Iowa State changed and new options for support emerged."

And build their legacy they did. In the years since, the couple added an endowed scholarship and internship in the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and funded a landscaping project for the Plaza of Heroines. Most recently, they created a study-abroad scholarship in the College of Design to support a student majoring in community and regional planning.

"The foundation was very supportive in helping us figure out next steps over the years. We were able to restructure and add things to support both of our colleges," said Richard. "Working with the foundation is a great tool to match opportunities, interests and needs, so we can support special projects as they are identified. Our estate plan is a work in progress, but in a wonderful way."

A Growing Connection to Iowa State

Yet the Rodines' giving is more than financial — their philanthropy has always included volunteering their time. It began when they were students at Iowa State and were active in campus activities. Richard served on the VEISHEA central committee in 1972.

"I remember being invited to lunch at the Knoll, where President Parks talked to us about how we could keep giving back to the university as alumni, and that some of us could possibly become members of the Order of the Knoll in the future," he said. "It sounded crazy to think of it then, as a junior in college, but it provided a spark and created a goal."

Sharon has served as a governor and on various committees for the foundation. "We've always enjoyed these opportunities," she said. "It keeps you energized and allows you to continue to grow your relationships with the university." For Richard, who now serves on the dean's advisory council in the College of Design for the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, it can be an opportunity to almost relive treasured moments on campus.

"Attending Iowa State was such a good experience, and you miss it as an alumnus," said Richard. "Giving back allows you to re-create that period of time on campus by getting connected with the faculty and students in a new, fun way."

A Brighter Future Starts With You

Regardless of your age or income, you can help shape the future of Iowa State. Contact the office of gift planning at 800.621.8515 or giftplanning@foundation.iastate.edu to discover simple ways to create a lasting impact at the university.

“I thought about what meant the most to me – outside of my family – and it was obvious that I would give to Iowa State. So I called the office of gift planning and they helped me plan the best course of action.”

- Margaret "Margi" Donaldson

Back to Top

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Iowa 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 Iowa State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Ames, Iowa, 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State where you agree to make a gift to Iowa State 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.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address