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Why do people like making planned gifts?

Planned gifts (most commonly a donation made in your will or trust) cost nothing today and allow you to make an incredible impact, which is why so many people choose to make them.

There are some other exciting but less common gifts — scroll down to learn more!

Popular gifts for the future

See what types of gifts many people choose to make. Many people make these to honor a loved one, to show what’s important in their life.


Gifts in a will or trust

Donations in your will or trust are (by far) the most popular type of planned gift. Learn more, or get help starting your will or trust – for free!

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Beneficiary designations

Gifting assets not covered by your will — like 401(k) or IRA accounts — may help your heirs avoid unwanted taxes, even if you’re below the estate tax threshold.

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Popular gifts for today

Many people love these donation options because they fit with their personal circumstances and financial goals.

Gifts that pay you back

Give assets while providing yourself or others with income for a period of time or distributions at a later date.

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Stocks and securities

Many people love donating stock or mutual funds because it may help them avoid paying capital gains taxes.

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Donor Advised Funds

Easily recommend grants to Jacksonville State University Foundation for tax-efficient giving.

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Qualified Charitable Distributions

Use your IRA to make tax-free gifts that benefit you and our mission.

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Please let us know if you’ve already included us in your estate plans!

Letting us know is incredibly helpful to our team and helps to make sure your gift is used the way you want it to be.

Planned Giving helps to create MEANINGFUL LEGACIES

Making a planned gift is a wonderful way to show your support and appreciation for Jacksonville State University and its mission while accommodating your own personal, financial, estate-planning, and philanthropic goals. With smart planning, you can create a meaningful and tax-saving gift that will have an impact on the Gamecock Family for generations to come.

Kay Brown’s story

Jacksonville State University alumna Kay Brown (Business, ’82) strongly believes in her university and its students—so strongly, in fact, that she has established two scholarships to benefit JSU students now and in the future.

“I contributed to the University year after year and then decided that I wanted to do more. I realized that you don’t have to be wealthy to make an impact. Whatever you can contribute helps students who want a great education but might need some monetary help along the way,” Kay says.

She and her husband started by establishing the Madonna Kay Brown and Barry Penny Scholarship to benefit a senior student athlete each year who needs support to finish at JSU. She says, “As donors, having a named scholarship makes us feel wonderful. We know we are helping students succeed with their plans for a college degree.”

Her experience has been so positive that she then decided to establish the Madonna Kay Brown Endowed Scholarship as a legacy planned gift through her estate trust. “It makes me feel that my life at JSU will be more than my days as a student but will continue after I am gone,” she adds.

Kay Brown has been involved with the University since the very beginning. “Jacksonville, Alabama, has been my home, our home, for four generations. So JSU has always been a part of my life. We were always right there in the shadow of the University when I attended Jacksonville Elementary Laboratory School and Jacksonville Laboratory High School. I always knew I wanted to go to college at JSU,” Kay says.

It took Kay 10 years to earn her business degree. While in high school and college she worked at Merle Norman Cosmetics in Jacksonville. She explains, “I went to school whenever I could. I was working and raising a child and it was hard, but I’m proud to say I finished and paid for it myself. If you want a college education, you can have one at JSU. That is because everyone is working to provide resources for you to realize your dream, whether it is faculty, staff, or an alumna like me.”

After graduation, Kay continued to work at Merle Norman until purchasing the business. After selling it in 2000, she moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and worked for a variety of defense contractors until retiring a few years ago.

Currently, Kay is a very active supporter of Jax State. She has served on multiple boards over the years and is the past president of the Annual Fund Board. She also has recently been inducted into the president’s Red Jacket Society. She explains, “I have met up with old friends who have become new friends again. Working with our alumni and getting more acquainted with JSU grads has been so rewarding.”

One of Kay’s favorite campus events is the annual JSU Foundation Scholarship Luncheon. “Attending the Scholarship Luncheon will make a person cry,” she says. “When students stand in front of a big group and confess that they were about to drop out because their resources were depleted, it brings tears. When they describe how important a $500 scholarship was to their staying in school and completing a degree, you weep. That is why I say you do not have to be a millionaire to be a donor because every small donation to the JSU Foundation counts just as much.” She encourages every graduate of Jax State to do as she has done. “It makes a serious difference, and the students are all so grateful,” she adds.

According to Kay, “This is where I grew up and was influenced. This is where my family lives. This is where my friends work. This is where they all gather together. I want to see JSU continue to grow, succeed, and nurture the community of Jacksonville.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated. Many people choose to leave a percentage of their estate, which scales up or down with your estate size.

Yes! Knowing in advance about your intentions is quite helpful to our staff, but you are always welcome to not share your gift.

We’ve partnered with FreeWill to help you make a will or trust at no cost to you. You can use this to complete your plans, or you may choose to use the same tools to get your affairs in order before visiting an attorney (who is likely to have a fee associated with finalizing your plans).

Yes. You are always free to revise or update your estate plans.

Yes! FreeWill will never share your personal information without your permission.

Make your will today

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I’m here to help you meet your goals!

I would be happy to speak with you in confidence about your giving goals, with no obligation.

Name: Kim Dalesandro, MPA

Title : Planned Giving Officer

Phone: 256-782-5606


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