Tips on Year-End Charitable Donations

At year-end, there are ways that you can super-charge your charitable giving, make a difference in the lives of others and potentially help your tax liability as well. The Alaska Community Foundation is available to help you make a gift that is meaningful to you and the organizations or communities you care about. With nine community Affiliate Foundations and more than 360 funds to choose from, we can help you find a fund that will have a lasting impact in Alaska or help you create a fund that reflects your values.

Make a gift through stocks or mutual funds

One of the best ways to maximize your giving is to give a gift of appreciated stock or mutual fund shares. You can give an appreciated security at any time of year, but it is especially helpful when the stock market is up and you have seen gains in a stock you have held for a year or more.

When you donate stocks, bonds or mutual funds, you bypass capital gains and earn a charitable income tax deduction of up to 30% of your adjusted gross income if you itemize. If you can’t use the full deduction right away, you can roll it over for up to five additional years. Just as important, the fund or organization gets the full value of the appreciated stock. You don’t have to donate all the shares of an appreciated stock you own. Talk with your broker about the amount you’d like to donate and ask which shares in your taxable funds have appreciated the most.

This Kiplinger article provides some helpful additional information on donating stock.
If you do plan to make a gift of stock, please notify us in advance so we’ll know the stock came from you.

For information on donating stock to ACF, please see instructions at the bottom of this article.

Open a Donor Advised Fund for Greatest Flexibility

You can open a Donor Advised Fund through a gift of appreciated securities or cash today and add to it anytime you choose. By creating a Donor Advised Fund at The Alaska Community Foundation you will receive an immediate tax-deduction for your donation and have the flexibility of deciding when to support your favorite charitable causes or organizations.

Many donors like creating a Donor Advised Fund because it acts like a private family foundation without the higher legal or administrative costs or the requirement to pay out 5% annually. It’s also a great way to involve children or grandchildren in making decisions about charitable giving.

While there are many entities that offer these type of Donor Advised Funds, The Alaska Community Foundation provides expertise on Alaska nonprofits and personalized, local service. In addition to being able to make your own grant recommendations, you will be able to learn about other pressing needs and opportunities in our state that deserve support, with the added benefit of having ACF vet organizations that can best address those needs. For example, ACF runs competitive grant cycles on critical topics in Alaska such as suicide prevention and workforce development, and invites ACF donor advisors to leverage their donations with others for greater impact.

Give your Required Minimum Distribution from your IRA

Now your retirement funds can go further than ever before. The IRS requires individuals who are 70 ½ or older to take a minimum distribution from traditional retirement plan accounts, but now you can donate up to $100,000 of your Required Minimum Distribution annually from a traditional IRA to a qualifying charity such as The Alaska Community Foundation without incurring income taxes today, or estate and income taxes in the future. If married, you and your spouse can donate up to $100,000 from each traditional IRA annually.

To qualify for this year, your donation needs to be postmarked by December 31, 2016 and sent directly from your IRA manager to The Alaska Community Foundation and be identified as a rollover from you. Because it bypasses your income there is no charitable deduction. You can use your IRA charitable rollover to give to Affiliate funds, Field of Interest funds or nonprofit agency funds, but due to IRS regulations, an IRA charitable rollover can’t be used to create or add to a Donor Advised Fund. If you wish to use the charitable rollover in 2016, please contact your IRA manager as soon as possible.

Give a secure gift online

The Alaska Community Foundation accepts secure credit card gifts online here. You will have the choice of giving to a field of interest such as The Alaska Fund, the most flexible fund to meet emerging needs and opportunities in Alaska, The Safety Net Fund, Social Justice, or other broad areas of interest. Other choices include giving to local community foundations or to one of the many nonprofit agencies that have long-term funds with us. This type of gift helps provide sustainability for the organizations in our state that are making a difference in the quality of life in Alaska.

Mail a check

To receive a 2016 deduction, postmark your check to The Alaska Community Foundation by December 31, 2016.

Consider a gift in your will or by naming ACF as a beneficiary on your IRA

While a gift through your estate plans won’t help you this calendar year, it will provide you with peace of mind now and contribute to a more caring Alaska in the future. The Alaska Community Foundation provides confidential, personalized philanthropy advising on including a gift in your estate plans to a cause or community you care about. If you would like to create a scholarship, family endowment or other special fund, we will work with you and your professional advisor to make sure a future fund is set up in a way that can be carried out effectively. We will draft a Legacy Fund agreement that can be included in your estate plans and can be easily updated for free if your interests change.

If you have already included The Alaska Community Foundation in your will, please let us know so we can make sure your gift will be used in the manner you intend.

The Alaska Community Foundation appreciates the generosity of our donors and wishes our partners, donors and grantees a very happy holiday season.

For more information

Contact Beth Rose, VP of Philanthropy/External Relations at 907-249-6611 or brose@alaskacf.org for more information or assistance.

You can transfer stock directly from your account to ours. Just contact Kevin Gray, ACF CFO, at kgray@alaskacf.org or Beth Rose, VP Philanthropy at brose@alaskacf.org to inform us of your upcoming gift, and provide your broker with the following information:

ACF Custodial Account: Wells Fargo Bank, NA Participant #2027
Agent Bank ID: 94866
Account # 25639600, Alaska Community Fnd General
Institution 94866

For gifts of mutual funds, contact Kevin Gray at 907-274-6703.

Please note: This article is not intended to provide tax or legal advice nor should it replace the advice of your qualified tax professional.

About the Author: Beth Rose

Beth Rose

Beth Rose is the Vice President of Philanthropy & External Relations at The Alaska Community Foundation. Beth brings more than 25 years of development, nonprofit management, and public relations skills to her job and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).