Success Through Determination

Ryan GodfredsenWhile growing up on an acreage in rural Webster City, Iowa, Ryan Godfredsen learned the value of hard work and cultivated a passion for working with his hands. He is a self-proclaimed farm boy and keeps busy by helping his family with chores and working part time for a mowing and snow removal company. In addition, he does his own automotive painting and restoration.

Godfredsen is guided by the motto, "In order to succeed, you must fail," and has found its truth numerous times in his life. "Ever since I was little, I have wanted to race motocross," he said. "No one in my hometown raced and there wasn't even a track to ride nearby, but I didn't let this stop me. I worked summer after summer detasseling and bean walking to save enough money for a dirt bike. I was finally able to purchase one, and after a half hour of riding it for the first time, the engine seized up. Yet, instead of letting this crush my dreams, I did everything I could to learn about dirt bike repairs and how to rebuild an engine. After hours and hours of work, I got my bike running again and was able to follow my desire to race when I joined the Iowa State Motocross Club."

Godfredsen is pursuing a degree in agricultural systems technology because of his love for figuring out how things work and problem solving. He enjoys that it is a broad field, which will allow him to explore various careers. At Iowa State and beyond, Godfredsen is involved with numerous organizations including the Iowa State Hunting Club, National Society of Leadership and Success, and National Cued Speech Association.

Crediting his parents for helping him foster his gifts and talents, Godfredsen notes that they have taught him the value of respect and determination. He also points out that his employers have given him wonderful experiences from which to learn and grow. "From working on machinery and equipment to operating them, they have all taken the time to teach and guide me. These employers have provided me with opportunities for critical thinking and leadership and a chance to succeed."

Scholarship support has greatly helped Godfredsen while he works to achieve a degree and focus on his schoolwork and extracurricular involvement. "Being able to spend more time focusing on school helps me understand the materials covered in class to the best of my ability. The more I know, the better I can suit the needs of others when I am in the workplace. Donors have granted me this opportunity, and I am so thankful."

“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

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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.

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