SACF seeks giving people as year draws to close

The holiday season is a critical time for nonprofit organizations to raise contributions that will sustain them for the coming year.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Shawano Area Community Foundation can be used to start a new charitable fund or add to any of the foundation’s existing 75 charitable funds that generate grants year after year to benefit a wide range of nonprofit organizations.

These funds include the Shawano Area Fund, a lasting endowment that accepts donations of any amount to be used to provide annual grants to local nonprofits. The foundation’s volunteer grants committee selects grant recipients through an application process.

Gresham residents Curt and Martha Knoke set up the Curt and Martha Knoke Immediate Needs Fund with the foundation. The Knokes add to their fund by donating appreciated stock, bonds or mutual fund shares.

“In early December, we look at our investment portfolio and pick an investment or two and donate shares,” said Curt Knoke, a community foundation board member. “The SACF sells the shares. We don’t pay capital gains, and our charitable deduction can equal the stock’s fair market value on the date of the gift.”

During the following year as community needs arise, the Knokes are able to make grants from their fund to help nonprofits. “It’s a win, win — for us and the community,” Curt Knoke said.

Here are some ways Shawano Area Community Foundation suggests people can give at the end of the year:

• If you’d like to keep Uncle Sam’s name off your gift list, consider a charitable donation of appreciated shares of stock held at least one year.

• Donations to the community foundation, through its Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region (CFFVR) partner, may be claimed as itemized deductions on your federal income tax return in an amount equal to the stock’s fair market value on the date of the gift. Please contact the CFFVR at 920-830-1290 prior to transferring the shares with the security name and number of shares to be transferred. Consult your financial advisor early to learn their deadline and length of time needed to execute the transfer.

• Donations of real estate, personal property and shares of ownership in private companies to the community foundation can be used to benefit a favorite nonprofit cause or organization.

• Consider rolling over an IRA directly to a charity.

• Checks and cash gifts must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and gifts via credit card completed before midnight on Dec. 31.

• Take advantage of the reflective spirit of the season to consider your long-term charitable plans. A gift to the community foundation through your estate, retirement or insurance plans can provide a lasting legacy for your favorite causes.

The Shawano Area Community Foundation was established in 1990 by community volunteers to preserve and improve the quality of life in Shawano and the surrounding area. It partners with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin.