WHEELING - People accustomed to making charitable donations, and those thinking about getting started, may want to consider the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, a one-stop method of managing donation decisions.
Community Foundation Executive Director Susie Nelson said her agency is a non-profit organization designed to manage people's charitable giving through a single donation.
"Charitable donors sometimes prefer to make one large gift to their donor-advised fund annually and receive one receipt for that charitable giving," she said. "That way, they don't have to keep track of individual gift receipts throughout the year."
Photo by Fred Connors
Working at the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley are, Associate Director Vicki Smith, left, and Executive Director Susie Nelson.
Typically, participants provide the foundation a designated amount of money for distribution to specified organizations throughout the year. The initial amount is tax deductible so the donor only has to deal with one receipt for tax purposes.
She said the Community Foundation has several funds to consider, including:
Donor-Advised Funds that support recommendations by the donor of distributions to qualified charitable organizations.
Donor-Designated Funds that permit the support of specified charitable organizations. The fund remains relevant over time and is responsive to changing circumstances.
Unrestricted Funds that are not restricted by the donor for any one purpose. Instead, they are used to support the changing needs of the community. It is the most flexible type of fund.
Scholarship Funds recognize achievement and provide financial support to students who wish to further their education. Donors may specify selection criteria. Some funds may be tailored to specify a variety of criteria such as attendance at a specific college, technical school or university.
Agency Endowment Funds support specific non-profit organizations. The income earned promotes the ongoing purposes of those organizations. An agency endowment is a way to build a nest egg and attract future endowment gifts.
Nelson said much charitable giving is done at the end of the year as people begin their tax planning, make the mandatory distributions of their private foundation or take the mandatory distributions from their retirement plans.
"Establishing a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley is an easy and efficient solution for clients who are charitably inclined and seek tax deduction," she said.
She said in creating a donor-advised fund, donors retain the right during their lifetime, or during the lifetimes of other advisers they name, to recommend grants to specific organizations or program fields. Donors may consult with the foundation's staff about the community's needs, programs and agencies. Grant distributions and investment management are handled by the foundation.
"We encourage smaller funds in an effort to help the community as much as possible," Nelson said. "The minimum amount to open a CFOV fund is $10,000, while larger community foundations have six-figure minimums. Some foundations serve a single county or city. We serve Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties in West Virginia and Belmont and Jefferson County in Ohio."
More information about charitable giving through the Community Foundation is available at 304-242-3144.