Violet and Donald (Don) Anderson '60: 'Pennies from Heaven' Spark Desire to Give Back

Donor Photo

Donald (Don) Anderson '60 has always been committed to hard work, solid Christian and family values and giving to others. Now he and his wife, Violet, are giving back to the college that helped shape those attributes by designating Augsburg as a beneficiary through their respective revocable trusts.

Don, who was born and raised in Nordeast, decided to attend Augsburg after serving in the U.S. Army. As he studied by day and worked nights to help support Violet and their three children, Don graduated with a B.A. degree in history and business administration. He recalls, "It was a good Christian school. I was able to meet often with the professors and learn so much from them. I really loved going there."

Don went on to become a successful grocery store owner. He served as a two-term state senator, worked in leadership roles in the Minnesota Department of Transportation and then as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Arne Carlson before retiring in 1995. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Augsburg in 2005.

The Andersons now split their time between Arizona and Minnesota, and remain very active in numerous church activities, community efforts and fraternal organizations at both residences. Yet it was a sermon Don heard that reminded him of the importance of giving back. He recalls, "The message was focused on, 'God has been good to you-now what can you do for God?' This compelled me to re-evaluate some things, and I realized I could leave a portion of my estate to the school that helped mold me into who I am. This option was a new approach for us, but now I am encouraging others to do the same."

The Andersons also give to the Augsburg Fund as well as other charitable efforts. While their planned gifts are not currently designated to any particular fund at Augsburg, Don knows they will benefit future students. He adds, "It's a privilege for us to give back, and we always felt we should help the school that helped us."

We are recruiting new members of the Sven Oftedal Society, a group of supporters who have committed a gift of future support to the college. We lift up these donors because they will provide for the possibility that Augsburg's mission lives in future generations.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Augsburg 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 Augsburg University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2211 Riverside Ave., CB 142, Minneapolis, MN 55454, 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University where you agree to make a gift to Augsburg University 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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