Alumni & Friends

Making a Difference for NIACC Students

Dr. John B. Dixon

Dr. John B. Dixon

Having positive relationships with generous donors is an essential part of helping students at North Iowa Area Community College. When members of our community make financial contributions, it directly benefits our students.

One example of this kindness is the financial gifts from Dr. and Mrs. John B. Dixon of Mason City.

Dr. Dixon, a retired ophthalmologist who practiced for 50 years in Mason City, has donated appreciated securities totaling more than $202,000 to NIACC for scholarships. This donation will be added to an endowment created in 2000 by Dr. Dixon and his late wife, Mary Jane, who was a social worker for several nursing homes in Mason City.

Dr. Dixon recently shared his thoughts on supporting scholarships for NIACC students.

"I'm not a millionaire or anything, but I thought if I did this, perhaps it would encourage others to do the same," he said during a recent visit in his home. "I'm 92. I'm not going to live forever. Many people make important decisions on their death-beds. I would rather do something now that helps students today."

Over the years, Dr. and Mrs. Dixon have led by example through their many contributions to North Iowa Area Community College.

"We are grateful for the legacy they are leaving in North Iowa," says Director of the NIACC Foundation Jamie T. Zanios. "This gift will provide scholarships next year for another 10 to 20 students. Thanks to the Dixons' generosity, scholarships will be provided to deserving NIACC students for years to come," Zanios said.

Dr. Dixon and his wife always wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to them over the years. "NIACC plays an extremely important role in the fabric, life and economics of North Iowa. It is important for those of us who have benefited from the opportunities offered here to give back to our community. I feel a gift to NIACC, through the NIACC Foundation, is the best way to ensure that future generations will have access to the many opportunities provided to me and my family," Dr. Dixon says.

Many NIACC students have received scholarships thanks to the Dixons.

Abby Nolte, a graduate of Hampton-Dumont High School, is a business major at NIACC. "I am so thankful for the Dixons' scholarship," she said. "Having the scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies more and not worry about how to pay for my classes," she says. "My sincere thanks go to Dr. Dixon. He has really helped me achieve my goals."

Nolte believes it's important to provide scholarships to students. "An education is something that can never be taken away from you, and scholarships give that opportunity to those who might not otherwise get a chance at a college education," she says.

Nolte has some advice for anyone who is considering being a scholarship donor. "I would tell them that donating is one of the best things they can do because they are investing in our future."

Nolte plans to transfer to Iowa State University and major in business management with a minor in entrepreneurship. She plans to own her own women's accessories store in the future.

"It makes me feel wonderful to help the students," Dixon says. "I'm glad I can help."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the NIACC 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 bequeath to North Iowa Area Community College Foundation, EIN 23-7023677, presently located at 500 College Drive, Mason City, Iowa 50401, [written amount or percentage or fraction of estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use."

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 NIACC Foundation 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 the NIACC 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 NIACC 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 NIACC Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the NIACC 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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