Ways of giving back

You may be wondering how to give to your favorite charity or Nebraska hometown. The Nebraska Community Foundation has some ideas.

In towns like Ord, the Valley County Community Foundation Fund has certainly helped improve the quality of life. Money from the fund has gone to projects like the Golden Husk Theater, or to getting people involved in what's called the Synovation Leadership Academy. Experts say people can give to their local community funds in a number of ways.

"The Charitable IRA rollover also known as the Qualified Charitable Distribution, allows individuals who are over the age of 70 and 1/2, and who have what is called the traditional IRA versus the newer version of the Roth IRA, to make tax free charitable distributions from their IRA," Jim Gustafson said. He is the the Director of Advancement and Gift Planning for the Nebraska Community Foundation. People who have IRA's are required to take a certain amount of money out when they reach 70 and a 1/2. By giving to a charity like the Nebraska Community Foundation, people can give that money without having to pay taxes on it. "There are certain restrictions. It's very important that you contact your bank, or insurance company where your IRA is," Gustafson said. "You have to request that the check be sent in the name of the charity to keep it from being taxable income."

While the "Charitable IRA Rollover" is one way to give back to a community, another way is through ag commodities. Corn or cattle can be contributed to local community foundation funds. "What they do is when they deliver their corn, wheat or soybeans to the elevator, people should make sure there's an account set up for the charity, which would be the Nebraska Community Foundation in this situation," Gustafson said. "They deliver the grain, and actually give the ownership of that grain to the community foundation. Then, it's sold in our name. That way, the sale proceeds are not taxable to the ag producer, but the great benefit is they can still take all of their costs as a deduction." The community center in Byron exists thanks to that way of giving. "I like to call it Nebraska's Corn Palace," Gustafson said. "That's because it was built primarily by gifts from local ag producers, gifting corn and soybeans to help build that community center."

One more way of giving really requires a little more planning. NCF experts say you can consider a plan to distribute some assets to your hometown through a will. "Who do you want to distribute your assets to?" Gustafson said. "By making those plans, it may really be the greatest gift you can give to your family." Should you have questions about any of these "ways of giving back", the Nebraska Community Foundation offers plenty of helpful resources. "One tool we offer at the Nebraska Community Foundation is a will planning guide," Gustafson said. "This is available on our website to be downloaded. It's a booklet that you can write in your assets, who owns them, the values, and how you want them distributed. It's a real valuable tool Nebraskans have found, to help them take the first step in putting a plan together."

In fact, there's many other resources at the NCF website, to help you consider giving back to the Good Life. Check out nebcommfound.giftlegacy.com for more information.