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Gift Benefits Donor and Wartburg Students

Melva Soenke

Wartburg College alumna Melva Soenke is using real estate to give back to the college.

Melvia Soenke '70 is a planner. When mapping out her future, she began thinking about her farmland and wondered if she could turn the value of those acres into a gift that would benefit students at her alma mater, Wartburg College.

Through careful planning with her attorney, financial advisors and the Wartburg College Development Office she accomplished just that.

Melvia's farmland will fund a $1.7 million dollar charitable remainder unitrust that will go towards the college's endowment and provide her with payments for life. Her land also funded a $300,000 outright gift to support the transformation of Clinton Hall, which will enhance the residential experience for first-year students.

Clinton Hall AdditionBoth of Melva's gifts are part of the college's comprehensive Transforming Tomorrow campaign.

"It's a pleasure for me to give this gift to Wartburg College to honor my parents, Albert and Helen Soenke, for their love of agriculture," Melvia says.

She has great satisfaction and peace of mind knowing the farmland that has been in her family for generations will now make a positive difference for generations of Wartburg students.

Learn More
When planning your estate, reach out to Wartburg College to see if a life-transforming gift will help you and your loved ones reach financial goals. Planned gifts benefitting Wartburg College not only improve and expand academic opportunities for students and faculty, but provide you with tax benefits.

Contact Don Meyer, CFRE at 319-352-8487 or to learn more about a giving plan that fits your lifestyle.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Wartburg College 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

The bequest language for Wartburg College is "I [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, [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 Wartburg College 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 Wartburg College 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 Wartburg College 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 Wartburg College where you agree to make a gift to Wartburg College 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.