Donor Connection – June.24

Hello from the community foundation!

We can hardly believe the year is nearly halfway over. It’s been such a pleasure to talk with so many donors and fund holders about all the ways you are pursuing your charitable giving plans for 2024. We’re equally inspired by those of you who have reached out to learn more about getting involved with the community foundation by setting up a donor-advised fund, field-of-interest fund, endowment fund, or bequest to align with your charitable priorities.

In this issue, we’re covering a few topics that we think are especially appropriate for summertime.

–Midyear is a wonderful time to check in on a quick punch list of “need-to-know” charitable giving tips. We’ve selected six items that every charitably-minded person really ought to be aware of, whether for purposes of current giving or future giving. You can scan our list of six items in six minutes or less!

–Summer is a great time to dive into deeper reading, while at the same time take a big picture look at industries and issues. We’re doing just that–with philanthropy. Check out our recommendations for studies and articles about the global role of philanthropy and how it hits home through the work of the community foundation.

–It’s not summer without sports! Fittingly, we’re sharing three ways to look at philanthropy as a team effort and perhaps inspire you to add an even bigger dose of collaboration to your charitable giving efforts. Supporting the community, like many worthwhile activities, is better when it’s done together.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and other donors and fund holders who care about our community and strive to invest in both present and future needs of our region. We are committed to growing philanthropic resources to improve the quality of life across generations.

With Gratitude,
Angie Tatro, CEO CKCF

Six for the summer: Mid-year reminders about charitable giving

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Welcome to summer! We’ve put together six tips to keep in mind as you plan your charitable giving for the coming months, years, and even decades. As always, the team at the community foundation is happy to be a resource!

Donate appreciated stock to your fund at the community foundation.

Yes, yes, we absolutely understand how easy it is to write a check when you want to boost your donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation. If you can remember to pause before you pull out your pen, though, it really does pay off to consider whether appreciated stock would be a better way to add to your charitable giving account. When you give shares of long-term appreciated stock, you can be eligible for a charitable tax deduction at the fair market value of the shares. Then, when the community foundation sells the shares and adds the proceeds to your fund, the fund–a 501(c)(3) charity–is not hit with capital gains tax. By contrast, if you were to sell those shares and give to your fund from the proceeds, you’d have a lot less cash to work with. Please reach out to the community foundation anytime to learn more about how easy it is to take advantage of this tax-savvy giving technique.

Plan ahead for your business exit.

If you own all or part of a private business, keep in mind that charitable giving can factor into your eventual exit strategy. You could be sitting on substantial unrealized capital gains if the business has grown a lot over time. Upon a sale, capital gains tax will be triggered, reducing the proceeds you get to keep. No capital gains tax will apply, however, to the sale of the portion of the business owned by your donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation. Plus, you can be eligible for a charitable income tax deduction in the year of the transfer based on the fair market value of the shares–not the cost basis, as would be the case if you’d transferred the shares to a private foundation. Keep in mind that a strategy like this only works with careful planning, so be sure to contact the community foundation team well in advance of setting a plan in motion. We are happy to work with you and your advisors to help achieve your charitable and financial goals.

Start paying attention now to the estate tax exemption sunset. 

The estate tax exemption–the total amount a taxpayer can leave to family and other individuals during their life and at death before the hefty federal gift and estate tax kicks in–is scheduled to drop, rather precipitously, after December 25, 2025. For 2024, the estate tax exemption is $13.61 million per individual, or $27.22 million per married couple, an increase over 2023 thanks to adjustments for inflation. Later this year, the IRS will issue inflation adjustments for 2025. For 2026, without legislation to prevent it, the exemption is scheduled to fall back to 2017 levels, adjusted for inflation, which would roughly total $7 million per person. That is quite a drop! This means a lot more people–maybe including you–could be subject to estate tax in the not-too-distant future. The team at the community foundation is happy to work with you and your advisors to explore how charitable giving techniques can help you avoid estate tax and leave a legacy for the community, especially if you start planning now.

If you can take advantage of the QCD, do it.

A Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) is a very smart way to support charitable causes. If you are over the age of 70 ½, you can direct up to $105,000 from your IRA to certain charities, including a field-of-interest, designated, unrestricted, or scholarship fund at the community foundation. If you’re subject to the rules for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), QCDs count toward those RMDs. Through a QCD, you avoid income tax on the funds distributed to charity. Our team can work with you and your advisors to go over the rules for QCDs and evaluate whether the QCD is a good fit for you.

Review your IRA beneficiary designations. 

As you review your assets and how they are titled, perhaps in connection with an annual financial and estate plan review, pay close attention to tax-deferred retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Typically, you’ll name your spouse as the primary beneficiary of these accounts to provide income following your death or to comply with legal requirements. But as you and your advisors evaluate whom to name as a secondary beneficiary of these tax-deferred accounts, don’t automatically default to naming your children or your revocable trust. You and your advisors may determine that naming a charity, such as your fund at the community foundation, is by far the most tax-efficient and streamlined way to make gifts to your favorite causes upon your death and establish a philanthropic legacy. A bequest like this avoids not only estate tax, but also income tax on the retirement plan distributions. That’s why non-retirement fund assets may be better-suited to pass to children and grandchildren.

Embrace a holistic approach to philanthropy.

When you work with the community foundation, charitable giving is easy, flexible, and rewarding. As the hub of your charitable giving, the community foundation offers a wide range of fund types, services, and ways for you and your family to get involved with the community you love. Many of our fund holders use a donor-advised fund to organize annual giving to charities. We can also help you establish a designated or field-of-interest fund to complement the function of your donor-advised fund. A designated fund allows you to support a specific charity over the long term, while a field-of-interest fund focuses your support on a particular area of community need by leveraging the community foundation’s expertise. We’d also be honored to work with you and your advisors to structure a bequest to the community foundation in your estate plan to support important causes, as well as the community foundation’s work, beyond your lifetime. We are here to help you make the most of your philanthropic intentions, and it is an honor to work together.

Philanthropy snapshot: A global priority with local impact 

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Summertime can mean vacations, travel, a slower (or at least different) pace, and time to reflect. This year, our team is thinking quite a bit about the significant role of philanthropy across the world and how that widespread enthusiasm drives so much energy for charitable giving right here at home.

If you’re spending time this summer reflecting, you might enjoy digging into a few of the sources we found thought-provoking,

–We really like this post from “across the pond” that analyzes why people give and synthesizes a variety of research studies and articles. Altruism, ego, social dynamics, and FOMO are just a few of the reasons people are motivated to give to charity. For a broad look at the role of philanthropy across the globe, you can check out Indiana University’s research.

–Every June, Giving USA releases its annual statistics on the state of charitable giving. We are looking forward to the 2024 report and digging into the numbers from 2023. Last year’s report showed that while individual giving was down, major gifts were ticking up. We’re curious to see what’s changed!

–Some say context is everything, and that may be why we always enjoy going back to the Smithsonian’s Giving in America exhibit and online resources. Even in its semi-archived and “under construction” format, the site is captivating; every time we revisit the site, something different catches our eye. (This time, we were struck by the side-by-side images from 2014’s Ice Bucket Challenge and the collection box from the early 1800s. And by the way, how can nine years have gone by since the Ice Bucket Challenge?)

–Coming full circle back to our local community, we’d love to draw your attention to what’s going on this summer at the community foundation. View our calendar of events HERE.

As always, the community foundation is here for you! We are honored to work with you and your family as you support the causes in our region that are most important to you. You are making a difference!

Philanthropy: A team sport

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At first glance, you may think of charitable giving as mostly an individual act. Certainly, most of the time, the actual money or asset that constitutes the charitable donation comes from a single person, couple, or entity. Beyond that, though, it likely makes sense to think of charitable giving as a collaborative endeavor.

Here are three examples:

–Serving on the board of directors of a charitable organization is a rewarding activity for many people. And, many people complement their board service with financial support. Dialogue among board members, leveraging board members’ talents, and collective board oversight are important components of a well-run nonprofit organization. Charities are counting on board members’ objective voices in the boardroom, board members’ constructive questions, and the board’s dedication to ensuring that public trust in the charity is maintained.

–For many people, involving other family members in charitable giving is one of the most rewarding ways to instill philanthropic values and transfer these values across generations. Whether you’re teaching young children about the importance of helping people in need, or joining with siblings to develop a grant-making strategy for a family donor-advised fund at the community foundation, you’re experiencing the joy of working together to make a difference in the lives of others.

–Working with the community foundation is itself a collaborative activity. When you organize your giving through a donor-advised or other type of fund, you are working with multiple professionals on our team to help you plan your annual gifts, evaluate impact, structure tax-savvy contributions of appreciated stock, and so much more. Plus, the community foundation team often works alongside your attorney, accountant, and financial advisor to ensure that both your financial and community goals are top of mind.

Thank you for the opportunity to work together to make our region a better place for everyone, now and in the future. If you’re not yet working with the community foundation, we look forward to exploring the options! It would be an honor and pleasure to work alongside you and your family on your charitable giving journey.

The team at the community foundation is honored to serve as a resource and sounding board as you build your charitable plans and pursue your philanthropic objectives for making a difference in the community. This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor to learn how this information might apply to your own situation.