Looking to help those in need? There are certainly worthy causes nationally and internationally. There are also ways to help closer to home. Sunday is National Philanthropy Day and is in the middle of National Community Foundation Week, which began Thursday and runs through Wednesday .
A community foundation is a grant-making public charity that strives to have a positive impact on lives in the area it serves. We’re fortunate to have in our area the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF), which was founded in 1928. Our community foundation has several impact funds, and some of the most popular provide support for conservation and for the arts. PPCF monitors the pulse of our community’s local needs and responds to ongoing needs as well as emergencies. For example, PPCF worked with other local nonprofits during the Waldo Canyon fire and played an important role during April and May in supporting the local economy when the pandemic closed many of our area businesses.
Individuals have donated substantial amounts to establish over 270 funds that reflect their values. “People give from their heart,” observes Leslie Sabin, vice president of finance and operations with PPCF. PPCF is a part of the charitable conversation, and establishes and administers the funds ,and sees that they are distributed to charitable causes. Those who have the desire and money to establish a fund for a specific cause work with PPCF on the details. Some of the funds are legacy funds, to honor a charitable cause of a deceased loved one. The charitable causes are often ones that many of us care about and all of the funds at PPCF are open to contributions from anyone. If you’re looking for local causes to support, the PPCF website, https://www.ppcf.org/, might have what you’re looking for.
There are many ways to contribute to this — or any — qualified charity. If you are over age 70½ and have retirement accounts such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other tax-deferred account, you can work with the trustee on the account to make a transfer directly to the PPCF. This is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). If you use this strategy, be sure to tell your tax preparer you made a QCD.
There are other tax-efficient ways to give to charity; run them past your tax preparer before implementing them. Getting a tax break doesn’t lower the impact of letting your finances reflect your values.
Linda Leitz is a certified financial planner. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.