Giving to Rollins
October 27, 2021
By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA
From quick and easy online gifts to sharing your time and expertise, there are plenty of ways to give back to Rollins, each with its own unique set of benefits.
Time. Talent. Treasure. Whether you’ve got an abundance of one, a little of all three, or somewhere in between, Rollins offers myriad methods to become a part of the collective effort to support students and their success both at the College and beyond. From financial donations that position Rollins for long-term success to mentorship opportunities that prepare future grads for global citizenship and responsible leadership, alumni are giving back in meaningful, highly rewarding ways.
Wondering where to start? Here are a few avenues to consider, with insights from other alums and friends of the College to guide you.
Life is busy. So Kellee Johnson ’90 prefers to “set it and forget it.” By authorizing a monthly payment on her credit card, she gets cash-back rewards, tax advantages, and the joy of helping her alma mater better serve the next generation of students.
“Like so many young professionals, for at least a decade I didn’t donate to the College,” says Johnson, principal at the Ballast Group communications agency. “But during my formative years in public relations, I was mentored by numerous people who inspired me to start giving back. At first, it was only $50 to $100 a year. Then it steadily increased as finances allowed.”
Her advice: Regardless of how or how much you give, making that commitment is key.
“It’s an unfortunate reality,” she says, “but you might be surprised that Rollins’ alumni-giving percentage rate falls below national averages. We have to make progress in this area. Even if it’s just $5 a month, every bit counts.”
Hall of Fame women’s golf coach Julie Garner can’t be cloned—which is too bad because her teams have won six national titles.
The next best alternative? Garner recently established a planned gift of her estate that will endow a new women’s assistant golf coach position well into the future.
“I know the needs from my peek behind the curtain,” says Garner. “The money won’t go toward uniforms or equipment. The vision is much bigger and longer-range than that. … The endowment gives me the peace of mind that future Rollins coaches will not miss teachable moments because they’re too busy doing the work of two coaches.”
The takeaway is two-fold: Gifts to Rollins can be directed to areas of your choosing, and they can be set up to transfer following your lifetime.
Plus, because Rollins is tax-exempt, 100 percent of your donation will help support the College’s mission to create global citizens and responsible leaders who are living meaningful lives and forging productive careers.
Gift of Stock
For Allan Keen ’70 ’71MBA ’10H, gifting highly appreciated securities is a no-brainer. As he explains it: “Let’s say you bought $5,000 in stock a few years ago, and now it has doubled in value. If you’re in the highest income tax bracket, selling that stock would create a 20 percent tax on your $5,000 gain (or a $1,000 tax). However, by donating the stock to Rollins (an IRS-recognized charity), you pay nothing in taxes.”
In addition, you can also deduct the stock’s fair market value. So, sticking with the previous example, “the stock you bought for $5,000 has now generated a $10,000 charitable deduction. If you pay 37 percent federal income tax, that translates to another $3,700 in savings.”
Keen, immediate past chairman of the Rollins Board of Trustees, is chairman and founder of the Keewin Real Property Company. “Giving back,” he says, “is a rewarding way to help Rollins, and its students, thrive for years to come.”
Without George Sciarrino ’07’s guidance and insights, Mariam Tabrez ’18 might never have developed a passion for fashion law. The two like-minded Tars were paired up through the College’s Career Champions mentorship program.
“I never would have known about the niche practice of fashion law had it not been for the mentoring of a professor during law school,” says Sciarrino. “I really enjoyed sharing that same kind of guidance with Mariam.”
Tabrez just finished her last year at New York Law School, where Sciarrino earned his JD, and has landed a legal internship with Schreck, Rose, Dapello & Adams in New York City. Inspired by her mentor’s path, she plans to focus on intellectual property law within the entertainment and fashion space.
“It doesn’t take much to make a big difference,” says Sciarrino. “We might shy away from getting involved because of the time required or thinking we don’t have much to offer. But the impact of a mentor far surpasses whatever you think you can put into it.”
Ways to Give
No matter the amount or impact area, there’s a giving pathway to meet every need.
Use your credit card to donate through a safe, secure third-party website. You can designate the area of your choosing and set up a recurring payment schedule, racking up cash-back rewards as you go.
Many employers will match charitable contributions by employees—and sometimes retirees or spouses—allowing you to double or triple
Memorial and Honorary Gifts
Make a gift supporting Rollins in memory or in honor of a professor, student, relative, or friend. It’s a generous, thoughtful way to recognize a person’s life and accomplishments.
Mentorship and Professional Opportunities
Support Rollins students and recent graduates by sharing your time, connections, and expertise, helping transform trajectories by bridging the gap between college and career.
Now is Our Time to Shine
Join the historic effort to invest in the people, programs, and places that prepare Rollins students to lead purpose-driven lives and prosper in productive careers.