Charity dollar can be stretched with programs

Sep 21, 2016

Giving to the causes you care about is rewarding in more ways than one when a contribution is made via the Community Foundation of Johnson County. a) Your gifts creates lasting change for our community, and b) the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program offers donors tax incentives making it easier to give.

Donations of any size are eligible for a 25 percent state of Iowa Endow Tax Credit. The tax credit dates to 2003 when the Iowa Legislature approved a state income tax credit for individuals, businesses and financial institutions that donate to a permanent endowment fund at a community foundation that meets national standards.

We appreciate the Legislature's vision, foresight and effort to strengthen Iowa communities through philanthropy. Endow Iowa endorses the importance of philanthropy and encourages all Iowans to invest in their communities through endowment funds. These funds are permanent resources that build capacity and strength in Iowa communities by providing financial support to charitable projects and community betterment programs.

The Legislature also wanted to keep dollars in Iowa and invested in Iowa's future. Annually, Iowans transfer more than $4.9 billion through probate estates. Endow Iowa encourages investment in Iowa communities with endowments that create eternal financial sources to fund community betterment. To date, more than 130 community foundations/affiliates have been formed to provide long-term endowment.

Since the Endow Iowa credit was established, more than $115 million has been invested in community foundations. In 2015, $6 million in Endow Iowa Tax Credits were awarded by October to generate nearly $24 million charitable gifts, representing 4,421 separate donations. While both business and individuals can receive the Endow Iowa Tax Credit, 4,033 donations were made by individuals.

As a result of these gifts, the Community Foundation of Johnson County is supporting good works to build stronger communities. In Johnson County, our contributors have supported flood relief programming, historical programming, shelter and food insecurity, agency information technology needs, senior citizens, arts and culture, education and children's programming.

In addition to a normal federal tax deduction for charitable gifts, the Endow Iowa Tax Credit is offered for donations, up to a maximum amount of $300,000 credit per taxpayer for a gift of $1,200,000, or $600,000 in tax credits per couple for a gift of $2,400,000 if both are Iowa taxpayers. All qualified donors can carry forward the tax credit for up to five years after the year the donation was made.

Gifts qualify for credits on a first – come / first - serve basis until the annual appropriated limit is reached. If the current available Endow Iowa Tax Credits have been awarded, qualified donors will be eligible for the next year's Endow Iowa Tax Credits. The foundation encourages donors to act early in the year to ensure they receive Endow Iowa Tax Credits.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "What a man does for himself dies with him . . . what a man does for his community lives long after he is gone." You, your family or business can invest in the foundation and receive an Endow Iowa Tax Credit benefit. Call the foundation to learn how you can invest in your community to assist a cause you care about and build your community legacy. We're here to help you make your impact, now and forever, in your community.

Mike Stoffregen and Sheila Boyd

 



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