December 2014

From Mary's Desk

December is upon us and for those of us in the nonprofit world, it is often the very busiest time of year. Year-end giving is in full swing and that means we're hard at work processing donations, helping donors with planned gifts and getting prepared for another cycle of scholarships for deserving Montana students.


We know you have probably heard it, but it truly can't be said enough. December 31st will be here in just a few weeks, but there is still time to make a big difference for philanthropy in Montana and give yourself a gift too by saving on your taxes. Remember, donations must be postmarked by December 31st, 2014 in order to be included as a charitable deduction this year. Also remember transfers of stock and other non-cash gifts can take a week or more to process. If you have questions or need assistance with your charitable giving, please let us know - we're here to help.


From all of us at the Montana Community Foundation, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and spectacular New Year. We'll see you in 2015! 





Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE

President & Chief Executive Officer

Sell the Tree, Keep the Apples

Sometimes the very best way to illustrate a concept is with a good analogy. Peggy Iba from the Greater Glendive Community Foundation came up with one of the best one's we've ever heard when discussing annuities and planned giving. Here's what she had to say:


"This was so beneficial for us personally last year. We saved $1,816 in Montana state income tax from my selling 20 shares of a stock I bought in 2001 for $13 a share. My mom did a charitable gift annuity planned gift and gets 5% back each year. It's like selling the apple tree to the community, but you get the apples each year until you die. The Greater Glendive Foundation benefited from the gifts and a 25% incentive match from the Montana Community Foundation."


*This is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor.

Peggy Iba from the Greater Glendive Community Foundation learned how to sell the tree, but keep the apples.
10 Questions for the Board - Kelly Bruggeman

Just who are these wonderful folks that give so much back to Montana through their work with MCF and beyond? Let's find out!


1. Where are you from originally?

I was born in Anaconda, grew up in California, returned to Billings and have been in Montana all of my adult life.


2. What's your "real" job outside the foundation?

I have the great pleasure of being the executive director of First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. My career with First Interstate BancSystem began in 1980 and I have been with the Foundation since it started in 1990. The Foundation will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015 and I feel very privileged to have been part of it all of those years.

Kelly Bruggeman is a new MCF
board member.
3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
I love to read, cook, walk the dogs (I refer to them as my boys) and in the spring and summer gardening is my passion.

4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?

Owning a bed and breakfast. My sisters and I have always dreamed of running a B & B together using our individual talents to provide a unique experience for families in a beautiful mountain community.


5. What's something not very many people know about you?

I am a Food Network addict. I love to cook and I am always trying out new recipes on family and friends. 


6. What are three things you can't live without?

My family, my pets, and satellite radio which is a must when traveling across MT, WY, and SD.


7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?

Through my career at First Interstate Bank and Foundation. I have had the great fortune of spending my entire career with a Family and company that has a commitment of giving back to the communities it operates in.


8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?

That MCF is a vital part of Montana's philanthropic sector and has a talented team with the expertise to continue the vision that began in 1988.


9. What's your favorite place in Montana?

Whitefish, it offers everything you could ask for in a get-away location. Our family has wonderful memories of multiple generations spending time together doing everything from golfing to playing pool and dancing in the local bars.


10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?

Our can-do attitude. I remember several years ago many of us came together to organize a funders tour to increase philanthropic dollar investments to Montana nonprofits. Our tour guests were amazed at how we worked together, across all sectors and party lines, to tackle issue and create vital communities.

Generosity at Work

November was another wonderful month of giving by many philanthropic heroes in support of Montana's nonprofits. The month saw approximately 8 grants totaling more than $18,000 to support philanthropy in Montana.


Find out how you can give back to Montana here.


Are you a donor, grantee or affiliate organization that has a great story to share about philanthropy in Montana? Let us know and we'll include it in a future edition of Infinity! 

A dinner and auction to benefit the St. Thomas More Academy raised approximately $70,000 including matching funds from generous donors.
A Dozen Ways to Make a Difference

Do you want to make a charitable gift before the end of the year, but just aren't sure what to give? Did you know there are many ways to give that are not cash? Here are a dozen ways you can make a difference:



1.  CashThis is a simple and common way to make a gift. Donations of cash are deductible if you itemize in the year of contribution.

2.  Bequests - Leave a percentage of your estate. Or, make a bequest of money or a particular piece of property to a charitable organization.

Amy Sullivan is the Director of the Montana Office of Gift Planning.
3. SecuritiesGive stocks that have increased greatly in value, particularly those producing a low yield. If you have owned them longer than one year, you will pay no capital gains tax on the transaction, and you can deduct the full fair market value.

4. Bank Accounts & CDs - Name the charitable organization the "payable-on-death beneficiary" of your bank accounts or on certificates of deposit. You own the assets for your lifetime and have them available for your use. Upon your death, the assets pass directly to the organization without going through probate.


5. Retirement Plan Assets Your most efficient estate planning option may be leaving all or a portion of your retirement plan to charity, because tax laws often subject these assets to income and estate taxes upon death. Many techniques can be used to avoid income taxes up to 39.6 percent. At the same time, you can pass more tax-favored assets to your family.

6. Charitable Gift Annuity This is a simple contract between you and us that pays you a fixed dollar amount for your lifetime. The older you are, the higher your annuity rate. If you use appreciated property to fund the gift annuity, you will escape the capital gains tax on the gift portion of the transaction. Plus, you are able to spread the remaining capital gains tax over your estimated life expectancy. You also receive a partial income tax deduction.


7. Charitable Remainder Trust A charitable remainder trust pays a fixed or variable income to the donor. The payments are made either for life or a period of time not to exceed 20 years. At the end of the trust's term, the balance in the trust supports our mission. You'll also receive a partial income tax deduction. 

8. Charitable Lead Trust - This type of charitable trust pays income to one or more charitable organizations, typically for a period of years, after which the remaining trust assets pass to family members.

9. Real Estate - This is a simple donation if you own property that is not mortgaged, has appreciated in value, and you no longer need or use. You can deduct the fair market value of your gift and eliminate all capital gains taxes. Plus, you have removed that asset from your taxable estate.


10. Retained Life Estate - You can transfer the deed of your personal residence or farm now and keep the right to live in and use the property for your lifetime. You will receive a current charitable deduction in an amount that is based on your life expectancy and the value of the property.

11. Bargain Sale - In this scenario, you agree to sell property to a charity at less than its fair market value. The difference between the sale price and the fair market value is your charitable deduction. The net result is often more favorable than selling the property at fair market value and making a charitable contribution from the capital gain.

12. Life Insurance - Rather than cancel policies you no longer need, you could name a charity as the beneficiary, or simply donate the policies outright.


Have questions or want to learn more? Contact our resident planned giving expert Amy Sullivan or click here.


*This is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor.

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook

www.mtcf.org  |  (406) 443-8313

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy