Making a Difference in a Challenging Economy

Focus on essential needs Nonprofits that provide food, clothing, housing and heating help are facing reduced funding from public and private sources at the same time that requests for services are going up. Consider directing your gifts to organizations that help people with these essential services. If you’re not sure how to choose, let us help.

Your strategy for giving Maximize your giving by focusing on organizations that serve the most people or those known for having highly efficient operations. Make fewer, larger gifts to organizations and have a more meaningful impact.

The IRA rollover If you have assets in your IRA and are 70 ½ or older, you can give up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to a nonprofit and exclude the distribution from your taxable gross income.

Leaving your legacy Make a significant contribution without impacting your current finances. Planned gifts include bequests, gifts of life insurance and IRA beneficiary designations. Ask your attorney about strategies that might bring you greater tax advantages and maximize the gift you leave.

Countercyclical philanthropy Some people can “afford” to be more charitable in difficult times. Review your annual giving and determine if helping more now, when needs are greater, is an option for you.

A charitable gift annuity If you have funds in CDs or other low-yielding accounts, a charitable gift annuity is a great way to earn income on your funds and make a gift to a cause you care about. This gift type offers excellent benefits.

Giving of yourself Sometimes your talent and experience are as valuable as gifts of money. Many organizations in Kent County are working to help people through these difficult times. Perhaps you can help people with a job search or offer work, or you can help make a home more energy efficient or work with a food pantry. Find your way to help by phoning The Heart of West Michigan United Way Volunteer Center at 616.752.8603.

Let the Community Foundation help The development staff at Grand Rapids Community Foundation can help you meet your charitable goals. We’ll work with you to craft a giving strategy that maximizes your gifts at this critical time. Please call the Community Foundation at 616.454.1751.