By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
A local charitable foundation is asking Madison Countians to give gifts that will go far beyond the Christmas season and last for generations to come.
The county was given a challenge this summer to raise $25,000 for a dollar-for-dollar match from the Blue Grass Community Foundation.
“We’ve stepped up to the plate and we matched it,” said George Ridings Jr., an insurance agent and member of the Madison County Community Foundation.
The foundation works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations that want to make a difference in their community. All that is required of donors is that they make it clear where they want their money to go, and the foundation takes care of the financial record keeping, accounting and reporting, Ridings said.
Donors have the option of remaining anonymous while knowing they have left a living legacy that will make their community a better place, he added.
Local charities will be able to apply for grants from the foundation’s earnings at any time, said Jeff Fultz, a member of the foundation, who is president of Central Bank’s Richmond market.
“This is an avenue where people can give their money and the money be protected,” said Hacker, foundation member and former University of Kentucky sports announcer who chose to retire in Richmond, his hometown. “People can dictate how they want their money spent.”
Community foundations are like permanent savings accounts that benefit a particular region. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations pool and invest their charitable dollars, Fultz said. Each year, earnings are reinvested back into the community to support programs and projects identified by the residents of that specific region.
“We’re looking for something that goes well beyond our lifetime,” Hacker said. “We can do big things if we think big.”
Kentucky’s counties need to have money set aside for future charitable causes, Ridings said.
“We want to create a long-term, significant community asset that puts money back into those nonprofit organizations,” Fultz said.
All of the funds overseen by the foundation must go to a certified, nonprofit organization.
“This is a credible, well-managed entity to handle this money over time,” Fultz said. “The commonwealth of Kentucky has a state tax credit that can only be earned by giving to a community foundation. That is what makes this a unique giving opportunity.”
Donors giving through the foundation will qualify for the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit, he said.
Because of this tax credit, businesses and individuals may be eligible to receive substantial state tax credits for gifts to endowed charitable funds.
Donors may receive a state tax credit of up to 20 percent of their charitable gift to permanent endowments that support Kentucky causes – up to $10,000 in tax credit per donor per year. A gift of $25,000 can eliminate a $5,000 state tax liability. This is in addition to the federal charitable tax deduction.
Visit http://bgcf.org/engage/endow-kentucky to learn more about the tax credit program.
Anyone who is interested in donating to the foundation or learning more may call foundation chair Charles Hoffman at 985-8494 or Fultz at 625-9455.