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We have some really big paper at the Community Foundation. It’s lovely and large at a full 11 X 17. We see it make an appearance when we have lofty ideas and need space to organize some equally lofty plans. These are ideas that a mere 8 ½ X 11 could never handle, even on its best day. In fact, sometimes when we get stuck, we simply get the big paper out—it’s magnitude feels like sheer potential. Like anything is possible. That’s when it gets exciting! It’s like we know we’re on the cusp of something great--it’s just, that something great, hasn’t been born yet. Yet. I guess artists probably feel like this a lot. They have ideas. They make something out of nothing. It’s magical how they sit down and invent something that’s never been seen, done, or heard of before. A blank slate. The clean white piece of paper just waiting to turn into something extraordinary. And all it needs is you. You and your wrinkly brain. You and the ideas you brought from a place you visited or lived. You and your memory from long ago and dreams for far from now. You and your willingness to pour whatever...

Donor advised funds (DAFs) are a powerful tool for people who care about giving back to their community and favorite charities. These funds offer donors flexibility, financial benefits, and the opportunity to meet your charitable goals. While many institutions offer DAFs, where you choose to house your DAF can greatly impact your effectiveness as a donor. Community foundations are uniquely positioned to amplify the impact of philanthropy within a specific region. Unlike other providers, which may offer minimal philanthropic services to donors, community foundations are rooted in a mission to serve the local community’s needs and center their energy in supporting donors. So, you might be asking, what does the experience of a fundholder at the Community Foundation of Grant County look like? Local expertise. The Community Foundation has a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in Grant County. We work closely with nonprofits, community leaders, and stakeholders to identify pressing issues and develop effective solutions. By partnering with the Foundation, you gain access to this wealth of knowledge and network, ensuring that your philanthropic efforts are targeted and impactful. Greater community impact. When you transfer your DAF to the Community Foundation, you become part of a network of donors who share a...

Serving as a board member is one of the most challenging and rewarding of volunteer assignments; especially with a community foundation—we are amazingly complex. So, our team thanks you for considering a position with one of the best non-profit organizations in all of Grant County! While appointment to a board is an honor, board members also have important legal and fiduciary responsibilities. There are THREE things you'll need to know before you consider serving as a Board Member or Committee Member of the Community Foundation—like a TRIDENT!   1. ANNUAL GIVING: Board members contribute these resources to support the Foundation's mission of connecting people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County:  Time, Talent, & Treasure 2. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Board members hold important legal and fiduciary responsibilities. These include: Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, & Duty of Obedience 3. COFO BUSINESS MODEL: The Community Foundation operates based on a comprehensive business model that focuses on three core areas: Asset Development, Grantmaking, & Community Leadership   THE APPLICATION IS NOW CLOSED...

As you’ve chatted over the years with the professionals working at your favorite nonprofits, you’ve likely heard the term “planned giving.” You may have even wondered what the term means–even if you have already structured so-called “planned gifts” to support your favorite charities! Here are a few pointers to help break down the concept of planned giving, along with ways the Community Foundation can help you achieve your charitable goals. It may help to think of “planned giving” in contrast to what’s sometimes called “current” or “annual” giving. For example, when you write a check (or, ideally, give highly-appreciated stock) to a charitable organization such as your fund at the Foundation, you’re transferring those funds right away in a relatively straightforward manner. You also may be making annual gifts to several charities, and from time to time you may also make gifts to a favorite charity’s endowment at the Foundation. By contrast, a “planned gift” is more complex and forward-looking than current or annual support of your favorite charitable causes. Making structured future transfers to charity is often referred to as “planned giving” because, well, these gifts require planning. Here are examples of common “planned gifts”: –A bequest in your will or trust allows you to...

Philanthropy means “love of humanity”—and, according to some, “philanthropy” includes acts that benefit both the giver and the receiver. This is surprising to some people who have been taught “it’s better to give than to receive.” Somehow we have popularized the idea that giving should “hurt.” But that is not what the research says. Consider just a few examples: –Research on the connection between volunteering and hypertension revealed that four hours of volunteering a week reduced the risk of high blood pressure–by 40%–in adults over 50. –Another study indicates that giving reduces cortisol levels. –Yet another study found a link between unselfishness and a lower risk of early death because “helping others” reduces stress-related mortality. –Research has linked doing something good for someone else to an increase in endorphins. –An altruistic attitude in the workplace makes you more productive and less likely to quit. –Doing good and being grateful helps you sleep better at night. –People who do just one good thing a week for someone else actually become happier over time. When people were asked to reflect about all the ways they do good (giving to charity, volunteering, serving on boards, donating canned goods, purchasing products that support a cause, celebrating at community events, sharing with others, and so on), 92% reported that they...

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, independent, nonprofit organization that provides support — primarily for the needs of the geographic community or region where it is based — from funds that it maintains and administers on behalf of multiple donors. They are governed by a volunteer board of directors of community leaders and most employ professional staff. Community Foundations are a type of hybrid nonprofit possessing the characteristics of both a public charity and a private foundation. Like a public charity, community foundations seek support from the general public, and like a private foundation, they also provide grants for charitable purposes. The common mission of every community foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the local area. They carry out this broad mission by building permanent endowment funds as well as non-endowed funds established by local individuals, families, businesses, or charitable institutions. Most community foundations manage and/or administer: - Unrestricted funds, allowing for flexible grantmaking, providing support for some of the community's greatest needs. - Designated funds, providing grants to specific organizations named by donors. - Field of interest funds to benefit a broad area of interest or programming designated by donors. - Donor advised funds, on behalf of individual donors who serve in an advisory capacity. -...

Year-end giving makes up a significant portion of total revenue for most charitable organizations. Research even shows that a whopping 25% of online giving occurs in December! What this means is that there’s a pretty good chance your clients are already considering end-of-year gifts to support causes they care about, are being asked by at least one nonprofit for an end-of-year gift, or both. That’s why it’s important for you to talk with clients well in advance of the year-end giving rush. Here are six tips to help jumpstart your client conversations over the next few weeks. Please give us a call if you’d like to dive deeper! We are here for you. Check in on goals. By discussing your clients’ overall charitable goals, you can ascertain which causes your clients are passionate about and why they care, how much they’d like to contribute in the short term and over time, the impact they’d like to see, and whether they intend to provide for their favorite charities in their estate plan. Against this backdrop, year-end giving strategies become easier to develop. Explore a wide variety of fund types. Donor-advised funds are very popular vehicles, and the Community Foundation is an ideal provider for...

The gifts Americans give to charity every year provide critical support for more than a million organizations that are helping sustain the quality of life in our communities. Philanthropy equates to 2% of GDP–that’s a little more than the home health care services sector! And, trust is growing as a must-have prerequisite before your clients decide to give to an organization, increasing from 63.9% to 69.9% between December 2021 and December 2022. With trust in charitable organizations driving so many giving decisions, it’s important for you and your clients to be aware of the Community Foundation’s role and commitment to stewardship. Every day, our team works with members of our board of directors, civic leaders, and nonprofit organizations to deeply understand the areas where the people in our community need the most help. Today, the most pressing needs might be for emergency assistance in response to a disaster. Tomorrow, our community might need scholarships for youth, or investments in research to improve access to healthcare for the underserved. Indeed, the needs of our community are ever-changing. The Foundation always has its finger on the pulse of Grant County's top priorities and the best way to address them. Through its community knowledge and mission,...

No matter how frequently you remind clients to pause before they automatically reach for the checkbook to make their charitable gifts, many clients still give cash! As an attorney, accountant, or financial advisor, you are well aware that giving long-term appreciated assets is often one of the most tax-savvy ways your clients can support their favorite charities. Nevertheless, it’s sometimes hard to convey that message to clients with words that stick. Next time, consider using illustrations to help clients see the benefits. Below are three simple examples* to help you show your clients the benefits of giving appreciated stock: Sally and Sam give $100,000 Sally and Sam plan to give $100,000 to their charitable fund at the Community Foundation of Grant County to organize all of their giving for the calendar year. Let’s assume Sally and Sam have a combined adjusted gross income of $600,000, which lands them in the 35% federal income tax bracket. If they gave $100,000 in cash to their charitable fund, they could realize an income tax savings, potentially, of $35,000. What if instead of giving cash, Sally and Sam gave highly-appreciated, publicly-traded stock, valued currently at $100,000, to their charitable fund. Let’s assume they’ve been holding the stock for...

Planning for retirement is critical to your financial well-being. If you are reading this, you likely know that life is unpredictable. The good news is that you can make a significant gift to support your favorite charitable causes with retirement plan assets without adverse effects to your lifetime finances. In fact, leaving retirement plan assets to the Community Foundation of Grant County can be one of the best financial decisions you can make. Here's why: Traditional retirement plans such as Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) and 403(b) plans are funded with pre-tax dollars. The contributions and earnings that you make to this account are not subject to income tax. When you reach the age of 59½, you can take money out of your retirement account without penalty, but you do have to pay ordinary income tax on the distributions. If funds remain in the account after you pass away, be aware that your heirs may have to pay inheritance and estate taxes in addition to income taxes. Depending on the size of your estate, these combined taxes can be as much as 60% of the remaining account balance. Don't make this mistake! Leave your retirement plan assets to the Foundation. Whatever portion...