Give Where You Live!
Arkansans are known as a generous lot! We care about each other, and most people I know will sacrifice to help others in need. That is one of the things I love about my native state!
Of course, there are many avenues for helping others, but today I want to encourage you to "give where you live". Ok, since that is in quotes, it obviously is not original with me. "Give Where You Live" is, in fact, a campaign of the Arkansas Community Foundation and its local affiliate (at least for me it's local), the Cleburne County Community Foundation (the Foundation).
The Foundation is an important player on the Arkansas philanthropic scene. Of course, as a former local board member of six years, I admit to being just a wee bit partial! In all seriousness, however, the Foundation does great work as it seeks to engage people, connect resources and inspire solutions to build a community for a better Arkansas.
"Give Where You Live" encourages people like you and me to invest our giving dollars locally and collectively with our neighbors through the Foundation, maximizing our impact by doing so.
And literally, everyone can make a difference! As Kathy Phillips, Executive Director of our local affiliate stated, "Most people associate the word philanthropy only with the extremely wealthy, but by working together as a community, each person can be involved in giving back. From the smallest one-time gift to any of our Giving Tree Endowments, to the establishment of new endowments, every bit helps."
The Giving Tree Endowments Ms. Phillips mentions are especially ingenious, in my opinion. Giving Tree Endowments provide the ability to pool your giving dollars with other like-minded Arkansans who desire to create a lasting difference for local causes.
In case you are not familiar with how an endowment works, the donated funds are invested for growth in perpetuity and then grants are made from the income earned to worthy local charitable causes. Literally, your giving goes on helping others for generation upon generation! It is focused on the future of the community and is used to support a wide variety of causes based on the most pressing needs at the time, including needs you may not even be aware of right now or that even currently exist. How's that for forward thinking?
If you happen to be over age 70Ω and have an IRA, a wonderful (and tax-advantaged) way to participate is by utilizing what is known as an IRA charitable rollover. This allows eligible account holders to direct transfers from their IRA to qualified charities up to $100,000 each year without treating the distribution as taxable income while still satisfying your annual required minimum distribution requirement.
And right now, the impact of your IRA charitable rollover to the Giving Tree Endowments mentioned above will be maximized due to a special match that is currently available. From now until June 2019, a dollar for dollar match will be made for any IRA rollover gifts made to a foundation-directed unrestricted fund, including Giving Tree Endowments, effectively doubling your impact locally!
I think deep down inside, we all want to make a lasting difference in our community and world, something that goes on beyond us. We just sometimes need a little creative thinking on how to do it.
Care, serve, give, leave a legacy...that is what it means to GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE!