Consider a donor-advised fund for your giving
To the editor:
To quote the Wall Street Journal: “Tax uncertainty in Washington is prompting donors, especially wealthy ones, to pour money into charitable-gift funds this year. The reason? Taxpayers fear Congress will cut or cap deductions for charitable contributions for 2013, so they are rushing to take advantage of current law.”
The solution they suggest is a donor-advised fund (DAF), which is one of the many types of charitable funds offered by the Community Foundation of Washington County. We think it is an excellent suggestion; however, it is also attractive to the not-so-wealthy.
Here’s how a donor-advised fund works:
- You make a gift to the Community Foundation. You can give cash, appreciated stocks, real estate or other assets. The minimum amount needed to create a DAF is $10,000.
- The foundation sets up a special fund in your name, in the name of your family or business, or in honor of any person you choose.
- You receive tax benefits the year your gift is made. If it is an appreciated asset, you can receive a double tax benefit (income tax deduction and capital gains savings).
- You recommend uses for the fund you establish, working with our professional grant-making staff to support the agencies and programs you care about.
- The foundation handles all of the administrative details and issues grant awards to charities in the name of the fund you establish. If you prefer, your awards can be made anonymously.
- If you wish, your gift can be placed in an endowed fund that is carefully invested and can grow over time.
- A portion of the fund you establish is then used to address community needs every year.
- Certain restrictions do apply (e.g. you can’t make grants to individuals; grants can only be made to 501c3 nonprofits; you can’t pay dues or commit your DAF to pay pledges, etc.).
So, why create a donor-advised fund?
Donor-advised funds provide a convenient and flexible tool for individuals, families, businesses or groups who want to be personally involved in suggesting grant awards made possible by their fund. People with a range of community interests find that it’s an ideal vehicle for fulfilling their charitable wishes.
The Community Foundation of Washington County MD is ready to assist you in the creation of a donor-advised fund or any of the other charitable funds available: scholarship funds, designated funds, field of interest funds or community funds. To take advantage of the current tax laws, you must make your contribution by Dec. 28. For further information, you can call me at 301-745-5210.
Thank you and have a great holiday season.
Brad Sell, executive director
Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc.
Thanks to all who supported Auxiliary event
To the editor:
We wish to thank the community for supporting the 2012 Waynesboro Hospital Auxiliary holiday greens and bake sale. So many businesses and individuals donated time, services and goods to make the sale a success. Special thanks to the volunteers who transported greens, made the wreaths and arrangements, supplied baked goods, set up and cleaned up, took photographs and helped in countless ways. Again this year, we created items at the Rouzerville Ruritan and sold those items at the Waynesboro Church of the Apostles. We appreciate the generosity of these organizations for the use of their facilities.
Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Barlup; Mr. and Mrs. Dick Boyer; B&D Lawn & Landscape; Cool Old Stuff; Cumberland Valley Tree Service; Nancy and Beth Dinterman; Food Lion; Ken and Sandy Graber; Glenwood Foods; Kauffman Tree Farm; Mr. and Mrs. John Keller; Lowe’s; Martin’s grocery store; Mountain Gate Restaurant; PenMar Development Corporation at Fort Ritchie; Penn National Golf; Allen and Julie Perkins; Mr. Bob Small; South Mountain Golf Club and Dottie Stottlemyer.
We look forward to next year’s holiday greens and bake sale.
Rhonda McFarland and Virginia Stayman
2012 Waynesboro Hospital Auxiliary Greens co-chairs
Commissioner responds to Herald-Mail editorial
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the Wednesday, Dec. 12, editorial, “Senior center as envisioned should not have failed.” The editorial addressed the senior center and other property the county has involvement with in recent years to include buildings purchases.
Although I understand the purpose of the editorial, I have a few points to make:
Nothing “went wrong” with the HCC Senior Center project other than funding delays that fostered price creep given the markets. State funding approval is needed before the project started and the political process stretched this much further than desired. Focusing on one project and making blanket statements doesn’t properly represent the work that is done. It must be tempered with a tremendous amount of project specific information that drives cost factors.
The statement that something should be investigated in regards to the bids placed for the HCC Senior Center project needs to be refuted. The original bids had an explanation presented by the architect in open session as to why costs had increased. Based on that discussion, the Board directed that the building size be reduced and rebid anticipating that it would come in within budgetary allowances. When the project was rebid, it then came in almost exactly on budget. The county had $6,648,700 and the project came in at $6.6M including design, etc., as evidenced by the Oct. 9, 2012 minutes.
“Mr. Kroboth (the County’s Director of Public Works) described the project which consists of the construction of an approximately 18,728 square feet, one-story, new senior activities center building on the campus of Hagerstown Community College. He indicated that the installation of new electric, sewer, gas, public water lines, phone, and cable are required to provide services to the new facility. Mr. Kroboth stated that incorporating design and engineering costs, the project is estimated to cost approximately $6.6 million…”
The overriding sentiment was $7M was now too much to spend given the economic climate. In addition, it was understood that change orders could have increased that figure greatly. The new location at the U.S. Army Reserve, which was a building originally evaluated for the center but unavailable, will be millions less and will revert to the original concept for the center.
On another note, the building the county owns (120-128 W. Washington St.) is certainly not “environmentally sick,” as stated in the editorial. That building like many other buildings has issues to mitigate if construction occurs, but is healthy, according to environmental professionals. These studies were completed BEFORE it was purchased, and has no issues needing addressed for occupancy. For the public to see that remark is misleading.
I would like to contradict the statement referencing the 120-128 W. Washington St. building, “that the county bought for office space without performing due diligence.” Again, due diligence was certainly performed. The properties would not have been purchased by the Commissioners at that time if that were not the case. They knew exactly what they were getting including the benefit it afforded us in flexibility, and the end product now located on the vacant property. A part of the transaction was the land located in the rear of the building, where the new Transit Transfer Station is now located. This is an important amenity for the downtown area. The positive impacts of county financial management speaks for itself.
Furthermore, to say that the Army Reserve complex (the possible new senior center site) has “similar problems” in comparison to the 120-128 W. Washington St. building is only correct in that it is an older building that has asbestos material and lead paint in certain locations. In the case of the Reserve, it has areas that need mitigated as part of the project so we can use the space. The other building does not need mitigated as the material is encapsulated.
In summation, I attended a Commission on Aging board meeting and saw their unanimous approval of the Army Reserve site for the senior center. It is my belief that the large majority of the seniors will be well-served and are delighted with the potential of this new site.
William B. McKinley
Washington County Commissioner