Sunday Talk: ‘ Connecting people who care with causes that matter ‘

Donor advised funds allow philanthropists to give now while also receiving a tax break

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{{tncms-inline alignment="left" content="<p>A donor advised fund (DAF) is simply a fund set up by a donor and administered by a public charity. A donor can start a DAF with as little as $10,000, receive an immediate tax benefit that year, and then provide guidance on donations given from the fund to nonprofits for as long as the fund exists — donating more money to the DAF as desired.</p>" id="eae2926a-7026-4346-a88c-945a95782d7b" style-type="info" title="What is a DAF?" type="relcontent"}}

{{tncms-inline alignment="left" content="<p>With higher standard deductions for taxes starting in 2018, some donors are choosing to “bundle” their giving to reach the annual deduction level while still donating their regular annual amounts to charities of their choice. This means donating two- or three years’ worth of charitable donations at one time, claiming the charitable deduction that year, and then waiting that period of time to donate again. One way to bundle is by creating a DAF. This gives the person the option to bundle the donation to their DAF that first year and then continue to support their nonprofits with annual donations from their DAF.</p>" id="2bfa10f7-5dd5-4900-82c4-01fc8145121d" style-type="info" title="DAFs and bundling" type="relcontent"}}

{{tncms-inline alignment="left" content="<p><strong>Year One:</strong></p> <p>• Donate 2 year’s worth of giving to your DAF. l Itemize your deductions.</p> <p><strong>Year Two:</strong></p> <p>• Support the charities you care about with grants from your DAF. Take the Standard Deduction.</p> <p><strong>Year Three:</strong></p> <p>• Donate 2 year’s worth of giving to your DAF. l Itemize your deductions.</p>" id="6f82502b-f699-4a5b-bb8d-61fbbac8abb2" style-type="info" title="How bundling works" type="relcontent"}}

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana gives individuals the opportunity to make lasting philanthropic contributions to the region during their lifetime and upon their death through its donor advised fund options. “Community Foundation is about connecting people who care with causes that matter,” said Sara Judson, foundation president.

<p class="indent">Donor advised funds can be opened with contributions starting at $10,000, giving individuals the opportunity to begin their lasting legacy of generosity while also receiving valuable tax benefits due to key facets of the 2018 tax laws.

<p class="indent">“Even with my experience as a financial advisor, the light bulb just recently went off for me that 2018 was the right time for our family to create a donor advised fund,” Denise Rau, certified financial planner and member of the Community Foundation’s investment committee, said in an email to the <em>American Press.</em>

<p class="indent">This year’s tax provisions allow donors to “bundle” several years’ worth of charitable giving through a donor advised fund for a maximum tax advantage and for donors who contribute appreciated stock, 100 percent of the value may be deducted resulting in huge tax savings. Members of the Community Foundation can then direct their funds toward a “spend down” account or an endowment, both to be used for the charitable causes of their choice.

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">Upon its founding in 2000, The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana has been a prime example of “public-private partnerships” to help improve the lives of those most in need in the five-parish region, said Judson. “Sometimes people are not as plugged in and they may have a desire to be charitable but they don’t really know what those options are or what the biggest needs are.”

<p class="indent">With its total pool of $200 million, combined with the Baton Rouge Community Foundation and Northshore Community Foundation, local foundation members have been able to make major impacts in the projects and passions closest to their hearts.

<p class="indent">“People with donor advised funds can partner with others who want to make those things happen…You’re under this umbrella of giving with the Community Foundation with other people who have charitable goals. I get to be a connector of ideas and needs in the community and then donors can decide if that’s something that’s appealing to them.”

<p class="indent">Doug Gehrig, Community Foundation member, spent his life working with young people and saw first-hand the necessity of a generous spirit.

<p class="indent">“That’s one of the things that makes me want to give more,” he said. “My entire workforce that worked for me — people have a lot of needs, and they’re the people who helped me be successful. It’s a tough life out there. You see it every day and you realize how important that small gift can be and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that.”

<p class="indent">As a benefit of a donor advised fund, Gehrig can direct his funds towards the charitable cause of his choice — children.

<p class="indent">“We need to help kids, especially, because that’s where it’s really at. By the time a kid is 5 or 6, they form their values. That’s where we’re missing it in our country right now and we need to really look at that.”

<p class="indent">Upon his retirement last year, he decided to open a donor advised fund to prioritize his philanthropic efforts.

<p class="indent">“Retiring is a different mentality. What you have you don’t get anymore, so you’ve got to keep it growing … I wanted a lump sum there that I could give away without worrying about what I wanted to spend the rest of my life.”

<p class="indent">Gehrig’s fund gives him the flexibility to spend as much or little during his lifetime and then convert it into an endowment upon his death, if he chooses.

<p class="indent">“You always want to leave something behind and do something good. I’m not as worried about putting my name on anything. It’s more important to help people.”

<p class="indent">The Community Foundation makes it easy for individuals to help, Gehrig said.

<p class="indent">“It makes it very simple. It really does. I don’t have to worry about it because it’s been given last year, it sits in their account and all I have to do is say, ‘I want to do this.’ ”

<p class="indent">John and Ginny Henning became members of the Community Foundation by way of John’s parents, Bill and Lena Henning. Judson said Bill Henning’s decision to set up lasting endowments for his children to carry on was an instrumental decision that helped set up the foundation’s success.

<p class="indent">Quoting a familiar saying and referencing his father, Henning remarked, “They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time when somebody says your name for the last time.”

<p class="indent">His father’s name is being continual as John recalls his father’s Biblical advice to “take care of widows and the orphans. So, we try to help out those kinds of charities,” he said.

<p class="indent">Henning likened his charitable giving through the Community Foundation to “seed money” and seeds community events like “Derby for Dollars,” benefitting the Shannon Cox Counseling Center and the new “Lake Area Charity Horse Show,” benefitting The Leader in Me program. “To do something good, you’ve got to fund it. We fund these events and these events generate more money,” he said.

<p class="indent">Like Gehrig, Henning said events that benefit children are of high priority to him.

<p class="indent">“If we just turn our back to those kids, saying, ‘I’m not going to worry about that,’ then sooner or later you’re going to be paying for those kids.”

<p class="indent">Not one for the sidelines, LeBocage ultimately started because Henning wanted to create a place for his daughter to grow in her hunter jumper horse riding skills.

<p class="indent">“I want to play. I want to come off that bench,” and like his active role in daughter’s dreams, Henning uses the Community Foundation to play an active role in the betterment of Southwest Louisiana.

<em>For more information on the Community Foundation of Louisiana visit, www.foundationswla.org.</em>

</div>

A donor advised fund (DAF) is simply a fund set up by a donor and administered by a public charity. A donor can start a DAF with as little as $10,000, receive an immediate tax benefit that year, and then provide guidance on donations given from the fund to nonprofits for as long as the fund exists — donating more money to the DAF as desired.

With higher standard deductions for taxes starting in 2018, some donors are choosing to “bundle” their giving to reach the annual deduction level while still donating their regular annual amounts to charities of their choice. This means donating two- or three years’ worth of charitable donations at one time, claiming the charitable deduction that year, and then waiting that period of time to donate again. One way to bundle is by creating a DAF. This gives the person the option to bundle the donation to their DAF that first year and then continue to support their nonprofits with annual donations from their DAF.

<strong>Year One:</strong>

• Donate 2 year’s worth of giving to your DAF. l Itemize your deductions.

<strong>Year Two:</strong>

• Support the charities you care about with grants from your DAF. Take the Standard Deduction.

<strong>Year Three:</strong>

• Donate 2 year’s worth of giving to your DAF. l Itemize your deductions.

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