Protect charitable giving incentives

By DAN DAVIS / President & CEO
The Community Foundation of Jackson County

The Community Foundation of Jackson County joins the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, representing 145 public and private foundations across Indiana, to express concern about the impact recent tax proposals could have on charitable giving.

Although these proposals do not eliminate the charitable deduction, they could effectively eliminate tax incentives for millions of individuals and couples. That, in turn, could dramatically decrease charitable giving in Indiana and across the country, affecting the impact of local agencies such as Anchor House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Provisions and the Jackson County United Way, as well as the Foundation and many others serving the young and old alike all across our community.

And while Jackson County residents, like Americans in general, are generous, research consistently shows that people do give more when given the incentive to do so through the tax code. A recent study, just released by Independent Sector and conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found that the proposed tax reforms could cut charitable giving by $13.1 billion.

How might Indiana be affected by such a decrease?  There are nearly 33,000 nonprofit organizations in Indiana, employing more than 230,000 people. Each year, Hoosiers give $2.97 billion and Indiana foundations grant $1.48 billion to charitable organizations to fund increased access to education and health care; help Hoosier families escape the cycle of poverty; help military veterans and seniors; mentor children; and protect the environment. A reduction in charitable giving could significantly reduce these services and the quality of life for all Indiana residents.

We support the IPA advocacy for policy that encourages and promotes charitable giving.  However, if the current standard deduction does increase significantly, we want to ensure that charitable giving doesn’t decline as a result of this reform. A “universal” charitable tax deduction would ensure that every American has an incentive to engage in charitable giving through a federal tax code that extends the charitable deduction to all taxpayers, regardless of their itemizer status.

The IU study shows that when tax reform proposals incorporated a standard deduction for all taxpayers, including people who do not currently itemize on their taxes, charitable giving would increase by an estimated $4.8 billion. It also shows that current tax reform proposals would reduce charitable giving to religious organizations by as much as 4.7 percent and giving to other types of charitable organizations by as much as 4.4 percent. 

We contend that our tax code should promote and encourage philanthropy. The charitable community has a long and unique history of being the sector where people come together to solve problems, such as funding long-term flood recovery in Jackson County in 2008, and improve our communities, such as constructing the Jackson County Learning Center. Our tax code should reflect these values by encouraging all people to give more to the organizations and causes that care for those in need and improve our quality of life.

We encourage you to reach out to your federal lawmakers and urge that they protect and promote charitable giving incentives through the federal tax code. Senator Joe Donnelly may be reached by email at www.donnelly.senate.gov/contact/email-joe or by phone at 202-224-4814. Senator Todd Young may be reached by email at www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd or by phone at 202-224-5623.

Your actions can make a difference.

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President & CEO Dan Davis of the Community Foundation of Jackson County writes a monthly column. The Foundation is at 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

History Center grant

Trish Butt of the Community Foundation of Jackson County presents a grant check to Billy Day, president of the Jackson County History Center, on Wednesday at the Ball Museum in Brownstown. The grant will help provide new windows, replacing those like the one behind the JCHC members gathered here, and insulation at the museum.

Did you know the History Center also benefits from an endowed fund at the Foundation? You, too, can contribute to the Jackson County History Center Fund and assist the center forever. For information, call 812-523-4483.

Donor-advised grant aids arts center

The Everett V. and Maria Moritz Fund of the Community Foundation of Jackson County recently awarded a $1,000 grant to the Southern Indiana Center the Arts.

The grant will benefit a current capital drive under way by the Arts Center, 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour.

The grant was recommended by fund adviser Fred Moritz, owner of Union Hardware in Seymour. The Moritz Fund is one of 15 donor-advised funds administered by the Foundation. It was established in August 1997 by Fred’s father, Everett.

“It appears the Arts Center, a valuable and important asset in our community, is in need of support right now, and this sort of thing is exactly why the fund was established,” Moritz said. “Our family wants to be of help in our community.”

Like all endowed funds at the Foundation, the Moritz Fund produces grant dollars based on the Foundation’s investment returns and annual grant rate, which is determined by the Board of Directors.

Advisers of donor-advised funds make recommendations for grants to the Foundation staff, which then conducts due diligence work to ensure the grants are awarded to organizations that meet Internal Revenue Service regulations, Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said.

The Foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities, and scholarship administration. It also administers qualified temporary funds.

The Foundation was created in 1992 and made its first grants in 1994. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in grants and scholarships across Jackson County. The charitable nonprofit administers more than 150 funds with assets of more than $11 million.

Among those funds are the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts Fund, an endowed designated fund. Anyone can make donations to the Arts Fund through the Foundation.

For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Davis at president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

 ABOVE: Mike Pfaffenberger of Seymour transfers soybeans last autumn from his combine to a trailer during the 2015 fall harvest. D&B Pfaffenberger & Sons Grain donated soybeans last year to the Community Foundation through the Gift of Grain program.

 

Gift of Grain returns

Opportunity to benefit community

By DAN DAVIS / President & CEO

Farmers are transferring bushels and bushels of corn and beans from field to farm to grain buyers, food processors and eventually to our grocers and our kitchen tables.

They hope this growing season has been a good one, producing a good yield. The Community Foundation of Jackson County hopes so, too, for the benefit of our farmers and our community in general.

That’s because farmers and the agri-business sector represent a strong, vibrant part of our economy and community. Many of our friends and neighbors are employed directly or indirectly by farming and the businesses that help keep them operating.

Each harvest season, the Foundation makes a tool available to area farmers to help support the community -- the Giving a Gift of Grain program.

Participating in the Gift of Grain program is simple and can take place at participating elevators – Premier Ag in Brownstown and Cortland, Bundy Brothers at Medora, Rose Acre Farms at Cortland and Tampico Grain near Crothersville.

Farmers’ gifts can benefit the area’s agricultural community through grants to programs such as 4-H and scholarship funds such as the Premier Companies/Bob Myers Scholarship and the Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship.

They can also benefit the Fall Grant Cycle with gifts to unrestricted funds. D&B Pfaffenberger & Sons Grain of Seymour have done just that the last several years with donations to the Foundation’s Community Fund.

Donald Schnitker of Cortland plans to again make a Gift of Grain to the Foundation this year. It will be directed to the Orville and Mary Schnitker Memorial Endowment, which was started in December 2016 by Schnitker and his siblings, Lois Bryden and Lora Willey, to honor their parents.

“Even years where the farm economy is struggling, we as farmers still have much to be thankful for and should be proud to share our blessings with the community where we live,” Schnitker said of his plans.

A farmer’s grain donations also count as votes in the Head-To-Head: Green vs. Red contest. The good folks at Wright Implement and Jacobi Sales in Seymour have again teamed with us to promote the contest, parking equipment head-to-head in the Foundation parking lot.

For information about the Giving a Gift of Grain program, or its companion program, Giving a Gift Livestock, contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483, or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org. We’ll be happy to work with you as you harvest your crops and sow the seeds to help us grow better tomorrows.

The Foundation also invites tractor enthusiasts to stand up and vote – with their donations -- for their favorite implements in the Head to Head: Green vs. Red competition this fall.

A $25 donation entitles the donor to cast one vote for their favorite equipment line. A $100 donation entitles the donor to five votes. You can vote in our office or online by going to cfjacksoncounty.org and clicking on the Donate Now button. You can also place donations in red and green donation canisters at Jacobi Sales and Wright Implement.

Just one more thing – let’s be careful out there as those combines, grain trucks and trailers make their way, often slowly, along area roads as farmers hustle to bring in their harvest.

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Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the Foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

 

Les Gilkey tutors Seymour Middle School students in this 2012 file photo from The Tribune.

 

Donations aid Gilkey Music Fund

Memorial donations to the Les Gilkey Music Fund will benefit Seymour Middle School band students for years to come and honor the late Leslie “Les” Gilkey.

 Gilkey, 102, died June 29. He had tutored thousands of middle school band students for nearly 30 years before ending that volunteer service in 2015, just days before turning 100 years of age.

The Les Gilkey Music Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Jackson County in May 2012. The endowed fund uses earnings to help pay instrument purchases and rental fees for students who wouldn’t be able to participate in band otherwise because of the cost.

Over the years, Gilkey, a retired music teacher, helped pay those fees out of his own pocket so students could stay in band.

Donations to the fund may be mailed to the Foundation at Post Office Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274, or made through PayPal on the Foundation’s website, www.cfjacksoncounty.org. If donating through PayPal, please send the Foundation an email letting us know that the donation is for the Les Gilkey Music Fund.

For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Davis at president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Agency fund grants aid nonprofits

Annual grants from endowed agency funds administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County assist operating and programming expenses for a number of nonprofits in Jackson County.

Recently, Priscilla Wischmeier, below, left, a member of the Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors, presented an agency grant check to Mindy Taskey, center, and Holly Sipe of Child Care Network of Jackson County. The grant is from the Child Care Network Inc. Endowment, an agency fund administered by the Foundation.

Individuals, businesses, groups and other organizations may make donations to the fund  -- and others -- as memorial gifts or planned giving to benefit Child Care Network and its important programs serving the youth of Jackson County.

The Child Care Network Inc. Endowment was started in February 2008 with an initial gift of $4,000. It has since grown to more than $9,000.

Other agency funds provide annual support grants to Girls Inc. of Jackson County, Jackson County History Center, Jackson County Public Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Provisions of Jackson County, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and Jackson County United Way and Boys & Girls Club of Seymour.

For information, call Dan Davis with the Foundation at 812-523-4483.

Grant aids Turning Point

A grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County’s Fall Grant cycle will help Turning Point Domestic Violence Services deliver services to Latino families in Jackson County. In the photo below, from left, Turning Point President Lisa Shafran and Charlotte Moss, the Jackson County Community Service director for Turning Point, accept a Fall Grant check from Foundation Vice President Sue Smith and Board Member Ron Sibert. The grant was among 20 granted totaling more than $43,000 approved by the Foundation through this year’s Fall Grant program. So far this year, the Foundation has awarded than $344,000 in grants and scholarships.

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Focused on:

  • Community Impact
  • Permanence
  • Proactivity
  • Flexibility
  • Professional Management
  • Stewardship

Beneficiaries

  1. Charities
  2. Local Organizations
  3. Families
  4. Community Members
  5. Donors
  6. Local Government

Board of Directors

Gary Meyer - Chair
Priscilla Wischmeier - Vice Chair
Mike Fleetwood - Treasurer
Dennis Wayman - Secretary
Susan Bevers
Patricia Butt
Ron Harrison
Monica Hartung
Thomas J. Lantz
Gary Myers
Susan Nehrt
Darrell Persinger
Andy Royalty
Ron Sibert
Marvin Veatch
Ann Windley
Bruce Wynn
Dennis Wayman

Staff

Dan Davis
President & CEO

Sue Smith
Vice President

Cindy Rinehart
Bookkeeper/Accountant

Lori Miller
Development Associate


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Playing Our Part in Local Stewardship

Community Foundation of Jackson County is a community-focused organization. Through our efforts, we stay dedicated to building visionary partnerships with donors and local service organizations, and provide funds to enhance the quality of life across Jackson County. Our employees are chosen for their knowledge of the community and tasked to be representative of a broad cross-section of the community on the whole. We possess the right kind of expertise in the many areas of management necessary to carry out the stewardship functions of the Foundation and benefit the people of our various towns. In all that we do, we promote growth, giving, and flexibility so that we can uniquely tailor all our incomes to the many needs of Jackson County.

The Community Foundation is a public non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to a public charity.

For more information about The Community Foundation of Jackson County, please contact us and speak with one of our members at 812-523-4483 or contact us by e-mail info@cfjacksoncounty.org.