Investing in your Community

Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation helps you give to causes you care about

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation is a public charity serving the Greater Itasca Area in the North Woods of Minnesota. What does that really mean? In a nutshell, it means we exist to serve the public. We are your Foundation and our purpose is to help you give back to the communities you love and the causes in which you strongly believe. Too often we think of "philanthropy" as a term reserved for the rich and famous, when in fact, a Community Foundation helps everyone be a philanthropist.

December: Gifts and Giving

The end of the year means many things to many people. Gifts and Giving encompass much of our thoughts during December. Getting relief from this recent blustery wind is another consuming thought for most of us. Taxes may be another thought.

Regardless of your income or tax bracket, the end of the year is quickly approaching, and there may be opportunities for making a charitable gift that could reduce your tax burden for 2018. In this period of tax reform unknowns, one thing is certain – the end of the tax year is still December 31. Whatever the changes to tax law, the good news is that the majority of cash gifts are made out of a passion for a worthy cause and not in consideration of a tax advantage, so continue the critical support of your favorite nonprofit causes.

Joining charitable intentions…

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation is federally registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Gifts (donations) to the Community Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. When you make a gift to the Community Foundation, we send you a tax receipt, that is used to calculate your 2018 taxes.

You decide where your gift goes. The Community Foundation has 280 different funds from which to choose. Where is your passion? Where do you find joy? From helping our neighbors in crisis, to supporting the arts or the environment, there are numerous opportunities to support the causes and programs that make our communities wonderful places to live.

Providing larger gifts with tax implications:

Larger and more complex gifts are often made with tax considerations in mind, and the information provided below describes current ways that these types of gifts can lead to potentially significant tax savings. Initial reports about tax reform indicate most of these charitable giving tools will remain in place under new tax law. As always, consult your financial advisor and tax professional to get the latest updates on how tax reform will affect your specific charitable giving.

Donation of Appreciated Securities (non-cash assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds):

Maybe you bought stock in your favorite corporation years ago at a low price. After many years of good market growth, this has proven to be a great investment. You consider selling this stock, only to find out that the capital gains taxes are going to significantly affect your annual tax burden. What to do? You can donate (transfer) appreciated securities that have been held more than a year to the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation to be sold and placed into a fund supporting your favorite cause. This allows you to bypass the capital gains tax if you personally sold the asset. Plus, you are now entitled to the property’s current value as a charitable deduction. To gain this tax advantage, the securities themselves must be gifted. If you sell the securities and then donate the cash, you would need to pay capital gains.

Real Property:

What happens to a lake cabin or hunting land when your family no longer uses or wants the property? Transferring real estate or gifting your home directly to the Community Foundation can pay off with significant tax advantages. Gifts such as real estate are complicated, but workable, and the gifted value generally goes a long way toward adding significant value to an endowment.

Personal Property:

Tangible personal property includes physical objects such as cars, guns, coin collections, artwork or antiques. Too often people don’t think they have “assets,” but gifting personal property can provide significant tax advantages. Anything of value is an asset and that item, once gifted to the Community Foundation, can provide you a tax saving and go toward your favorite cause.

Charitable Distribution from your IRA (often referred to as a Charitable IRA Rollover):

If you are age 70½ or older and have an IRA, you can make a direct charitable distribution (up to $100K a year) to a charitable organization without tax penalty. This can be particularly appealing when you consider what to do with your Required Minimum Distribution. If you do not want or need the income or tax burden that comes with accepting your Required Minimum Distribution, you can roll it over (transfer it) to the Community Foundation and not incur any federal income tax liability. This IRA Rollover is now permanent law. It is important that the rollover comes directly from your IRA broker to the Community Foundation (not to you). We have sample letters to direct this type of gift, so please call 218-999-9100 for a copy or for more information.

List the Community Foundation as beneficiary of life insurance, retirement accounts, etc.:

Naming a qualified charitable organization as beneficiary for important life documents is something none of us want to think about, but it can become extremely important in order to minimize your heirs’ tax burdens when they are settling your estate. You can name the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation as a beneficiary with the redeemed value going into one of the 280 different funds or set up your own named fund through the Community Foundation where your legacy and passions can continue forever.

Other ways to share your gifts:

There are many more ways to provide a charitable gift and receive immediate tax benefits. Charitable Gift Annuities, Living Estates, Charitable Remainder Trusts, and other tools are very effective depending on your personal desires and financial situation. The best way to find out what might work for you is to ask either your personal financial planner or tax professional or stop by the Community Foundation to learn more.

Community Foundation continues Area Community Fund match

Keep in mind that the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation will continue to double your donation (up to $100,000) to any of the five Area Community Funds. If your community is your passion, now is a great time to donate to the gift that keeps giving to your community – forever.

Providing a gift to the Deer River Area Community Fund, the Greenway Area Community Fund, the Greater Itasca Area Community Fund, the Hill City Area Community Fund and/or the Nashwauk Area Community Fund is the perfect way to show your support to the community that has given so much to you.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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