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Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Christopher F. Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.

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Not Another Fruitcake...
By Denise K. Spencer / December 4, 2014

Holiday shopping can be daunting. Dealing with crowds and lines; searching ads for sales; seeking the right gift for the person who has everything — all of these can take some of the joy out of the season of giving.

Wouldn’t it be great to lessen some of the holiday shopping stress by finding a single outlet that carries the perfect gift for everyone? Community Foundation of the Lowcountry offers a solution – a donor advised fund. A donor advised fund is a philanthropic mechanism which allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive a tax benefit in the year the contribution is made, and then recommend grants from the fund be made to support a variety of causes at times convenient or appropriate for the donor.

You can establish a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation within a day, at no cost and with as little as $2,500. While you need to keep $500 in the fund for it to remain viable, that still gives you $2,000 or more to use for your “charitable holiday shopping.” How does it work? Once you establish the fund, simply select nonprofit organizations to which you’d like a grant to be made from the fund.  These grants can be made in the name of one of your clients, employees, friends or family members. Does Sally like cats? Recommend a gift in her name to a local animal shelter. Does your client enjoy the arts? Suggest a gift in his name to support visual or performing arts through a local arts organization. The culinary artist in the family might love a gift in their name to a food pantry.  There is always an appropriate option in education, environment, healthcare, human services, community development and more—and you never have to worry about size or color or duplication—the gift is always just right. And Community Foundation will send the gift and notify the individual being honored. How easy is that?

A donor advised fund simplifies your charitable giving and provides numerous benefits:

  • Flexibility. The timing of your gifts to the fund you establish reflects when you receive your tax deduction. And you can add to the fund at any time. The timing of the grants you recommend from the fund to other charitable organizations reflects when you want to respond to community needs, or when you want to honor someone with a gift in their name. And assets contributed are flexible as well: cash, stocks, real property, etc. can be used to sustain and grow the fund. Appreciated assets can be an especially attractive gift, since you can possibly avoid or reduce capital gains taxes.
  • We are your back-office.  The Community Foundation staff takes care of facilitating the grants you recommend and you have access on-line anytime to check the fund's activity and recommend grants at your convenience. In addition, you no longer need to track receipts from a variety of charities for tax purposes. One-stop shopping means simplification at all levels.
  • Grow your philanthropic dollars. The assets in the fund are invested and can grow tax-free, thereby generating more charitable dollars to support the charities you wish to support.
Imagine. Your holiday shopping solution at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry means:
  • One-stop, low-stress shopping.
  • Your gift does far more good in the community than another necktie, tchotchke, or fruitcake. It is not fattening; it won’t need dusting; it won’t prompt exchange due to size or color or allergy or taste.
  • Those on your gift list will be honored to be recognized in this way.And you also receive a couple of gifts in return: 1) a tax-deduction, and 2) that good feeling you get when the shopping is finished, and that the gift will truly make a difference.

If you are certain you know exactly what items those on your shopping list desire, buy local. And if you aren’t certain, then give local. It is just another way to LIVE GENEROUSLY, and to offer your friends, your community, and yourself a happier and less-stressed holiday season. Call Emmy Rooney at 843-681-9100 or by email at erooney@cf-lowcountry.org  if you want to learn more. And Happy Holidays to all from your Community Foundation!

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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926
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