Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation declaring November as Plan Your Giving Iowa Month. The declaration marked the beginning of an initiative which could dramatically impact communities. Iowa Central Community College Foundation and Trinity Health Foundation are joining other nonprofit organizations in the state to encourage everyone to consider participation in Plan Your Giving Iowa (PYGI) month.
The initiative is the brainchild of LEAVE a Legacy Iowa and the Iowa Council of Foundation. The purpose is to encourage individuals of all income levels to include their favorite nonprofit organization(s) in their wills or estate plans (insurance, 401K, etc.) and then to share their intentions a www.planyourgivingiowa.org.
According to the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, more than 80 percent of individuals will give a gift during their lifetime, but it is estimated only 8 percent who die leave a bequest to a nonprofit.
What are Planned Gifts?
Planned gifts are a variety of charitable giving methods that allow you to express your personal values by integrating your charitable, family and financial goals. Making a planned charitable gift usually requires the assistance of the charity's development professional and/or a knowledgeable advisor such as an attorney, financial planner, or CPA to help structure the gift.
Planned gifts can be made with cash, but many planned gifts are made by donating assets such as stocks, real estate, art pieces, or business interests - the possibilities are endless. Planned gifts can provide valuable tax benefits and/or lifetime income for you and your spouse or other loved one. The most frequently-made planned gifts are bequests to charities, made through your will. Other popular planned gifts include charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities.
Why should I make a planned gift?
Many people want to make charitable gifts but need to do so in a way that helps meet their other personal, family, or financial needs. Planned gifts give you options for making your charitable gifts in ways that may allow you to:
Make a larger charitable gift than you thought possible.
Increase your current income.
Plan for the financial needs of a spouse or loved one.
Provide inheritances for your heirs at a reduced tax cost.
Reduce your income tax and/or avoid capital gains tax.
Diversify your investment portfolio.
Receive income from your personal residence or farm.
Plan for the transfer of your business.
Leave a charitable legacy for future generations.
Nonprofit organizations play key roles in our community, and planned gifts could help us transform our community. Each organization in our community has a different mission, but the common thread is the desire to make our community a better place to live and work.
The Fort Dodge community has always rallied behind charitable causes (Trinity Cancer Center, Paula J. Baber Hospice Home, Iowa Central Capital Campaign, Harlan and Hazel Rogers Ball Park, etc.) but what would it mean to our community if we would back this initiative? A couple of years ago the Community Vitality Center estimated that over the next 50 years Webster County residents will transfer $7.8 billion to the next generation. This large transfer of wealth offers us an unprecedented opportunity to create a legacy for generations to come, if we join others who name nonprofit organizations within our community among our heirs.
The current state tax laws will expire at the end of 2012 unless Congress intervenes. Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan. We hope that you include your favorite local charity in your will or estate plan; when you do, add your name to the list and inspire others to do the same.
So much good can be done. Philanthropy improves the quality of life while empowering, educating and providing enjoyment to those who give.
For more information contact your professional adviser or Laurie Hendricks at Iowa Central Community College, 330 Avenue M, Fort Dodge, IA 50501 or Shannon McQuillen at Trinity Health Foundation, 802 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, IA 50501.
Laurie Hendricks is vice president for development and alumni relations at Iowa Central Community College. Shannon McQuillen is executive director of the Trinity Health Foundation