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Year-end giving: 5 tips to finish 2018 well

By Shelly Leadley, Director of Donor Services

It’s a privilege to witness the generosity of our donors each day, and it’s especially exciting this month when energy and activity levels are at their highest.

Shelly Leadley

Anyone can help make the holidays brighter by giving online to the Community Foundation or many of our funds anytime. Complete your last minute donations via credit card before midnight Dec. 31.

Right now the Community Foundation office is a flurry of activity as donors make grants from their charitable funds to support their favorite charities before year-end.

Our professional staff has also been helping people make contributions to start new funds with us or add to existing ones to beat the year-end deadline for 2018 tax deductions. We make starting a fund as fast and easy as possible, while remaining focused on what’s most important to you while planning your giving goals for today and long after you’re gone. Read a few of our stories of giving. 

As year-end approaches, here are five giving tips to keep in mind:

  • Double your impact. Many local nonprofit organizations offer matching gift opportunities at this time of year.  This means that your donations will have double the impact. Here are a few we are tracking.
  • Cash isn’t always king. We also accept other types of gifts that may provide added tax savings, including securities (stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares), business interests, personal property, real estate and life insurance. Ways to Give Now.
  • Securities can be particularly tax-effective gifts. If you have owned the securities for at least one year, your gift will not trigger any capital gains tax, regardless of how much the securities may have appreciated in value over time. Visit to learn more and see our stock transfer instructions. Donating stock is easy to do, but we urge you to contact us in advance to ensure its prompt and accurate transfer.  Initiate gifts of appreciated stock, bonds, or mutual fund shares by December 14 to ensure delivery by year-end. Consult your financial advisor soon, as some securities may take longer to transfer, or your advisor may have a different deadline.
  • Give from an IRA. People age 70½ and older can transfer up to $100,000 directly from an IRA to a qualified charity (including the Community Foundation) while excluding the amount distributed from income. Some exclusions apply. These charitable gifts count toward the required minimum distribution. Learn more.
  • December 31 is fast approaching. Plan ahead for making donations in person and via U.S. Mail. Donations sent in the mail must have a Dec. 31 postmark date to quality for a 2018 tax deduction. Our office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, and Jan. 1.

Throughout this giving season and into 2019, the staff at your Community Foundation is happy to help you and work with your professional advisors to help you fulfill your giving goals.

Did you know your holiday purchases can make a difference? Amazon Smile donates to the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region when you shop online using this Amazon link.


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