Simplify Your Giving with a Donor Advised Fund
A Donor Story: Greg & Marsha Meissner
In search of the perfect rural location to settle and put down roots, the Meissners looked no further than Door County, where Greg grew up. They first met on a blind date and later married in Shawano County where Marsha was born and raised. At the time, Greg was employed at a wholesale plant nursery in Sturgeon Bay and Marsha worked as a registered nurse in Green Bay. They purchased their 1892 farmhouse in 1976, which was just a few miles away from Greg’s great grandfather’s farm. Here they would build their family business, Meissner Landscape, Inc. They purchased the landscape division from Greg’s former employer in 1982, the year they welcomed their second child, and the business was born in the basement of their home. They found their niche and the business grew in the years that followed. They have a great appreciation for the place they call home, its environmental treasures, the beauty and most importantly, the people.
“In a seasonal business with a fiscal year following the calendar year, we wrap up our business in mid-December. Consequently, we found ourselves rushing to disburse our charitable giving funds to the non-profits in our community in the last couple weeks of the year,” remembers Greg. “Then we were introduced to the Door County Community Foundation. Our Donor Advised Fund is a financial tool for us. We can decide how much we would like to give at the end of the year, deposit that into our Fund at the Community Foundation, and then distribute the assets to the charities of our choosing at any time.”
The Meissners are active supporters of non-profit organizations throughout Door County and northeast Wisconsin. A Donor Advised Fund at the Door County Community Foundation allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time. A Donor Advised Fund is also a great tax planning tool which enables you bunch several years of giving into a single tax year.
Donor Advised Funds operate much like a private foundation, but without the administrative burdens, high operating costs or required tax filings.
“The Door County community has been a good place for us to live, work and recreate over the years. As we mature and consider retirement, we find ourselves appreciating it even more. Our Donor Advised Fund at the Door County Community Foundation makes it easier and more tax efficient to give to the charities we care about in our community. It’s mutually beneficial for us personally, for our family and our community.”
A Simple, Inexpensive and Highly Tax Efficient Way to Give.
Donor Advised Funds are convenient, flexible tools for individuals, families, businesses, or groups that want to be personally involved in suggesting grant awards made possible by their gifts. If you have a range of community interests, you may find that it’s an ideal vehicle for fulfilling your charitable wishes. Donor Advised Funds are typically less costly and easier to administer than other forms of philanthropic giving (such as family or corporate foundations).
Your gift can be combined with others to increase its impact, and you can add to the Fund you establish at any time, receiving tax benefits with each new gift. You can establish a Fund today and make grant recommendations now or in the future.
Creating a Donor Advised Fund is easy.
- You make a gift to the Door County Community Foundation – you can give cash, appreciated stock, real estate, or other assets. A minimum gift of $1,000 is all it takes to open your own personal Donor Advised Fund.
- We set up a special Fund in your name, in the name of your family or business, or in honor of any person or organization you choose.
- You receive a tax deduction in the tax year your gift is made. That makes a Donor Advised Fund a great tool for bunching your charitable giving.
- You suggest charities that should receive distributions from your Fund – working with our professional staff to support the causes and organizations you care about most.
- If a gift to your Fund is incorporated into your estate plans, you can designate your heirs to be “successor advisors” to the Fund.
- We handle all the administrative details and issue grants to charities in the name of the Fund you establish (if you prefer, grants can be made anonymously).
And while we may be the Door County Community Foundation, but our family of donors have favorite charities across the nation. As a result, we make distributions to charities in virtually every state in the union.
Donor Advised Funds are particularly effective as an estate planning tool. Rather than naming multiple charities are beneficiaries of your estate, your retirement account, or other assets – you simply designate your Donor Advised Fund at the Door County Community Foundation, Inc. as the charitable beneficiary. Then the Community Foundation distributes your estate gift to the charities or causes you care about the most.
If you so choose, your Donor Advised Fund can made into an endowment. Your gift – and all future earnings from your gift – then become a permanent source of community capital, giving back in your family’s name literally forever.
Learn more about using a Donor Advised Fund as a tax planning tool for bunching several years of charitable gifts into a single tax year.
Download an information sheet about Donor Advised Funds.
Then contact the Door County Community Foundation to learn more, or speak with your accountant, attorney or investment advisor today.