‘Gifts of Grain’ benefit community, producers

Jan 13, 2014

In the decade since founding, the Community Foundation of Johnson County (CFJC) has become known as a vehicle to build a stronger community through philanthropy. Now the Community Foundation is offering a means for grain farmers, who have fed the world, help their communities improve lives and find solutions to challenges.

Mike Stoffregen, executive director of CFJC, said Gifts of Grain are a unique and underutilized way to make a charitable gift. "Using grain to make a gift is wonderful way to invest in the future of their communities while achieving tax savings." Donating a gift of grain to the Community Foundation is a simple way to make a lasting difference. The value of the grain can be used to start an endowed fund in the name of your family, for a specific nonprofit organization important to you or support the overall charitable causes. A Gift of Grain may be eligible for a 25 percent Endow Iowa Tax Credit.

He explained that producers who gift grain directly, rather than selling the grain and making a gift from the proceeds, may receive a significant tax savings. "Contributing grain allows producers to avoid the sale of the commodity as income, while the production costs may still be deductible as a farm business expense. Reducing taxable income may provide advantages such as minimizing or eliminating self-employment tax and reducing adjusted gross income."

Stoffregen said Gifts of Grain may benefit several of rural community affiliates in Johnson County including Lone Tree, North Liberty, Swisher and Tiffin. Coralville and University Heights also have Community Fund affiliates.

He said it's important the gift is grain commodities, not a grain storage receipt, which could be considered a cash equivalent. The Community Foundation must be able to demonstrate "control and dominion" of the gifted property.

Many producers annually certify or document bushels of production with a Farm Service Agency for purposes of enrolling that grain production in various agriculture subsidy programs. Farmers should complete the FSA certification before making a gift of grain commodities. And they are encouraged to consult with their tax professional for advice applicable to their particular situation prior to making a gift of grain commodities.

The Community Foundation of Johnson County is a catalyst to build a stronger community through philanthropy. In the decade since founding, the Community Foundation of Johnson County has raised nearly $15 million in endowed assets and nearly $6 million in bequests, and distributed more than $5.8 million in grants and $603,000 in sponsor support. Additionally, charitable gifts have encouraged more than 32,460 volunteer service hours for 143 charitable giving and endowed funds at an average cost of less than 2 percent to accomplish its goals – build an endowment for the greater community good. For Good . . . For Ever.



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