Mississippi Valley State University

April 24, 2014

Ways To Support


What Is The Annual Fund?

The annual fund is an equally important kind of giving to Mississippi Valley State University. The Annual Fund supports teaching, learning and discovery. The money generated by the annual fund helps maintain the day-to-day excellence of the University and moves us closer to excellence. These unrestricted funds can be used immediately to meet our most important needs and priorities – including scholarships, faculty recruitment and retention, financial aid, library and computer resources, as well as facilities maintenance and renovation.

The Annual Fund provides financial assistance to our students each year and assists in keeping the experience affordable and accessible for traditional students as well as working adults. It is through the Annual Fund that the University continues its tradition of helping students – regardless of financial limitations – to pursue an education here.

What is a Major Gift?

The University defines a major gift as a minimum contribution of $10,000.00. Although major gifts can be unrestricted, typically the donor allocates the gift to a particular initiative or project or by establishing a scholarship. A major gift is a tremendous investment in the University. A major gift not only assists with budgetary needs, but demonstrates the commitment that motivates the gift. A major gift can also be done through a multi-year plan. For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at (662) 254-3790.


Types of Scholarships

There are two types of scholarships that can be established by a donor: Expendable (Annual) and Endowed. Below you will find an explanation and information about criteria for both.

Expendable (Annual) scholarships are funded by annual unrestricted gifts, which then go directly to help students meet their financial burden. The number of expendable scholarships available each year is dependent upon the amount of contributions received. An annual scholarship has an immediate financial impact. An expendable scholarship may be established at a minimum of $1,000/year.

An endowed scholarship is a fund where the initial gift - the principal - is invested and the earnings from the investment are distributed to the student(s) as financial assistance. The principal remains untouched, thereby providing a permanent source of funding and a return on the investment, thus allowing the scholarship to grow and the interest to be awarded over time. Donors who establish endowed scholarships may wish to create certain eligibility criteria for the selection of recipients. An endowed scholarship could be created through a multi-year pledge. Most pledges last five years. A minimum of $25,000 is required to create an endowed scholarship. An endowed scholarship provides merit-based and need-based financial support for academically talented students through the use of an invested fund designated for scholarships.

Criteria for Scholarships

Criteria for an Expendable or Endowed scholarship is determined by agreement between the donor and Mississippi Valley State University at the time the scholarship fund is established. Typically, scholarships are awarded based on both academic merit and financial need. In addition, a donor may wish to benefit students who are engaged in a particular field of study or who meet other agreed-upon criteria. However, the fewer restrictions on the scholarship, the greater flexibility Mississippi Valley State University has in selecting qualified recipients. The University’s Scholarship Committee for Private Funds selects scholarship recipients.

Process for Establishing a Scholarship (Annual or Endowed)

  1. Donor notifies the Office of Advancement of its intent to set up a scholarship.
  2. A Fund Agreement is created and specific criteria is set by the Donor and outlined in the Fund Agreement.
  3. Donor and University sign Fund Agreement.


What is Planned Giving?

The term "planned giving" which is sometimes called a deferred gift or estate gift refers to charitable gifts that require some planning before they are made. Planned gifts are popular because they can provide valuable tax benefits and/or income for life. Planned gifts include bequests, trusts, and contracts between a donor and the University.

Whether a donor uses cash or other assets, such as real estate, artwork, partnership interests or life insurance, the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving extremely beneficial to both the donor and the university.

Benefits of Planned Gifts

Planned gifts offer a donor many of the same benefits that an outright gift to a charity provides, such as:

Charitable tax deduction;

Avoidance of capital gains tax on appreciated property, securities and collectibles;

Removal of assets from potential estate taxation;

Control of where the estate's “social capital” is used;

Personal satisfaction in supporting a worthy cause; and

Recognition for your charitable support while living.

These benefits are possible because MVSU is a 501 (c) (3) organization. It enjoys this tax-exempt status by using its resources to support charitable activities that benefit the public good.

Type of Planned Gifts

There are numerous ways to creatively structure a planned gift. A donor's attorney and/or financial advisor should be consulted to assure that the optimum benefits are realized for the estate and charity. The most common types of Planned Gifts include:

  • Bequest — When a donor decides to leave assets to a charity in their will, he/she is making a bequest. The donor's estate will receive a charitable estate tax deduction at his/her death, when the gift is made to charity.

  • Remainder charitable trusts, such as charitable gift annuities or unitrusts are usually established during a donor's lifetime, providing an immediate tax-deduction, avoidance of capital gains taxation, reduced estate tax at death, and creation of a source of income for the donor's and/or charity for life or for a specified period of time. Ultimately, the trust's residual assets pass to the foundation for the purpose outlined by the donor.

  • Charitable lead trusts provide a number of unique benefits. These types of trusts are generally used when a donor has assets that are likely to appreciate and the donor wishes to pass these assets to a charity with reduced gift and estate tax consequences. Lead trusts are established for a specified period, often ten years. During this period, the charity receives regular distributions from the trust, either a fixed amount (charitable lead annuity) or fluctuating amount (charitable lead unitrust) and the donor pays income taxes on the earnings of the trust, which may be tax deductible. A charitable income tax deduction may also be available when the trust is established.

  • Gift Annuity — A gift annuity is a contract between a charity and a donor. In return for a donation of cash or other assets, the charity agrees to pay a fixed payment for life to the donor or to a friend or family member of the donor's choosing. The donor also can claim a charitable tax deduction. If a donor funds a gift annuity with long-term capital gain property, the donor will have to report only some of the gain, and may be able to report it in installments over many years. Income from a gift annuity can be deferred for a period of years.

  • Pooled Income Fund — The name describes this planned gift well-- a charity accepts gifts from many donors into a fund and distributes the income of the fund to each donor or recipient of the donor's choosing. Each income recipient receives income in proportion to his or her share of the fund. For making a gift to a pooled fund, a donor receives a charitable income tax deduction and will not have to pay capital gains tax if the gift is of appreciated property. When an income beneficiary dies, the charity receives the donor's portion of the fund.

  • Retained Life Estate — A donor may make a gift of his personal residence or farm to charity and retain the right to live there for the remainder of his or her life. The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the gift. At the donor's death, the charity can use or sell the property.

If you would like additional information on Planned Giving/Estate Planning, contact the Office of University Advancement at 662-254-3790 or giving@mvsu.edu.