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Joe and Carol Trimmer Support Inquiry, Ingenuity, and Imagination


Joe and Carol Trimmer have been supporting Ball State programs and students for 45 years, and through their planned gifts, will continue their support long into the future.

By Chelsea Tuttle, Communications Intern

Joe and Carol Trimmer have spent 45 years at Ball State University dedicating their time, talent, and treasure to creative programs that impact the campus community and beyond.

Joe is a longtime professor of English and the director of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, which provides distinctive, rigorous, and transformative immersive learning experiences for Ball State students. Fostering collaborative research and interdisciplinary study, each experience is designed so that faculty and students can explore the connections among the arts, humanities, science, and technology.

Carol recently retired from Indiana Public Radio's home base, located in Ball State's David Letterman Communication and Media Building, after 15 years of service as outreach coordinator. Indiana Public Radio has consistently been recognized by journalism associations for its excellence in broadcasting and news reporting and strives to inform and entertain through exploration of the arts, events, and issues.

The Creative Process of Giving

When deciding how to donate their gifts to the university, the couple was inspired by the example of the late philanthropist Virginia Ball, who actively supported education, the environment, the arts, and the humanities. Virginia and her late husband, Edmund F. Ball, son of one of the original five Ball brothers, were major benefactors to Ball State and creators of the Virginia B. Ball Center.

"Virginia and Ed wanted their gift to go to something innovative and creative that would benefit students," Joe says. "For Virginia, education and community were interconnected. When we looked at how we wanted to donate our gift, we wanted to do the same thing."

The Trimmers' created a charitable remainder unitrust through the Ball State University Foundation to help programs they are passionate about and that inspire creativity, including Indiana Public Radio.

"I'm always learning something from IPR. I believe in it with my whole heart. My donation helps to ensure that its future is around for a long time," Carol says.

A charitable remainder unitrust was an attractive way for the Trimmers to give back because it provides lifetime income, an immediate federal income tax deduction, and reduction of estate and gift taxes. The remainder of the trust will also fund programs at the Virginia B. Ball Center as well as their own scholarship. The Trimmer Scholarship is awarded to sophomore Honors College students pursuing a major in the arts and humanities and who display creative inquiry, civic engagement, and dynamic leadership while maintaining a 3.5 GPA during the scholarship term. Joe and Carol have also made a bequest to the university in their will.

"The reputation of the university rises with the success of its graduates," Carol says. "Our gifts will help to send qualified graduates into the workplace and develop a name for the university because of the innovative immersive learning programs and projects conducted on campus."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Ball State University Foundation 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 Ball State University Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2800 W. Bethel Avenue, Muncie, IN 47304, 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 the foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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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.

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 the foundation 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 the foundation 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 the foundation where you agree to make a gift to the foundation 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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