Individuals & Families

Individuals & Families

Make a one-time gift, explore your giving options, develop a philanthropic plan.

Our team will work with you to identify your giving style, passions and desired results. We can help you develop a charitable vision and will highlight community issues and help you formulate strategies to respond to those needs. In addition, we provide oversight of your funding and ensure that the intent of your giving is fulfilled.


Are you ready to get started?

We are ready to use our philanthropic expertise to work with you to develop your personal, strategic charitable giving plan. For a confidential consultation about a giving program to fit your needs, contact Jackie Hanton today at 810-984-4761 or jackie@stclairfoundation.org.


GIVING OPTIONS

With over 200 different funds, your gift to the Community Foundation can be compounded and maximized with the gifts of other donors who share your values and beliefs. You can also establish a new charitable fund to meet your philanthropic goals.

Outright Gifts

You can transfer cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, or personal property to your Community Foundation. Your gift qualifies for maximum charitable benefit under state and federal law.

Read further about the advantages of Gifting Appreciated Stock.

Qualified Charitable Distributions- Giving from your IRA

For many of us, being generous with our money is one of the great joys in life. And it turns out that being generous with your IRA can be both personally satisfying and provide tax benefits.

“On a personal level, my wife Bonnie and I have worked hard, saved and invested over the years and now have the opportunity to share with a community that has been very good to our family,” said Don Fletcher, Community Foundation Board Member.

If you are fortunate enough that you do not need all of the funds from your IRA, it is good to have a plan.

When you reach the age of 70 ½ you can reduce your taxes and make an impact through the Community Foundation with a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

Click here for a graphic with more details about how it works. (opens in new window)

A QCD can be made that meets your required minimum distribution (RMD)- where annual withdrawals are mandatory. Further, given the recent tax law changes, if you no longer itemize, your checkbook donations to charity will not reduce your tax bill. Using a QCD for your charitable giving may allow you to take the higher standard deduction while also reducing your taxable income.

Although Donor Advised Funds are not eligible to receive QCDs per the IRS, the Community Foundation has several alternatives that donors can consider.


The following types of funds are eligible to receive QCDs from IRAs:

Programs and Services is supporting the work of the Community Foundation through our operations. By supporting our work, you help us continue to make bold investments in people and place, bringing like-minded donors together to build our best community.

Community Investment Fund is our unrestricted fund to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Today’s priorities may not be tomorrow’s, but this fund will always address our region’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities as guided by our strategic priorities.

Student Success help students of all ages towards successful completion of their degree. The Community Foundation has the Complete Your Degree Endowment Fund and Scholarship Funds to support local students and the Come Home Award to attract talent back to our region.

Designated Funds support the good work of specific nonprofit organizations. We have funds for over 40 local nonprofit organizations.

Field of Interest Funds support broad areas of need and award grants to the community organizations and programs addressing this such as:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Community Development
  • Health and Human Services
  • Education
  • Conservation/Environment
  • Animal Welfare

  • The generosity of our donors have helped the Community Foundation build a better community for the past 75 years and we appreciate your consideration to keep the good work going. Your IRA gift can help us continue to make bold investments in people and place.

    This information is not a substitute for expert legal, tax, or other professional advice, and we strongly encourage donors to work with your professional advisor to determine the impact of making a QCD on your particular situations.

    For more information or a confidential appointment, please contact Jackie Hanton, Vice President at 810-984-4761 or jackie@stclairfoundation.org.

    Donor Advised Fund

    A Donor Advised Fund functions as a conduit. You make your contribution and claim your tax deduction now, then distribute money out to specific nonprofits over years or decades while your charitable dollars are invested and growing tax free. These funds, established through the Community Foundation, allow donors and their families to participate in the research, selection and awarding of grant dollars. Donors are free to give to any charitable cause, local or not, through a Donor Advised Fund.

    A Donor Advised Fund can effectively function as a family foundation while offering much of the flexibility and appeal of a private foundation - without many of the regulations, requirements and overhead expenses. Donor Advised Funds are among the fastest growing charitable vehicles in personal philanthropy.

    Is a Donor Advised Fund the right vehicle? Is a private foundation the right vehicle? There is no simple answer. Each tool offers its own advantages and disadvantages.

    View this chart to learn more about the differences between a Donor Advised Fund and a private foundation. Donor advised funds have exploded in popularity because:

  • Support charities you love now or over time
  • Grow your donation tax-free
  • Get just one tax receipt
  • Donate cash, stocks, real estate, and more
  • Give anonymously, if you wish
  • Whether there are causes that you are passionate about and want to support or you want to learn more about your giving options, a Donor Advised Fund can be the perfect solution to local, national and even global giving. A minimum donation of $10,000 can get you started.

    To learn more, please contact Jackie Hanton, Vice President at 810-984-4761 or jackie@stclairfoundation.org.

    DAF Grant Recommendation Form

    DAF Fund Activity Policy

    Planned Gift (Bequest)

    You can designate a gift or portion of your estate to your Community Foundation, and in some cases receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes.

    Download Sample Language for Wills & Trusts

    Beneficiary Designations

    You may also wish to consider naming the Community Foundation of St. Clair County as the beneficiary of your IRA or life insurance policy.

    Giving that Provides You Income

    Charitable Gift Annuity


    You can transfer cash or property to your Community Foundation now, get immediate tax benefits, and ensure that you or a loved one receive fixed quarterly or annual payments for life. This option is a great solution for many older charitable individuals.

    Note: If you are not a professional advisor these questions may still be helpful in determining if a Charitable Gift Annuity is right for you.

  • Do your clients have an appreciated asset subject to the Capital Gains Tax?
  • Do they need current income to support their lifestyle or pay medical bills?
  • Do you have clients with a long-term interest in “giving something back to the community?”
  • If you answered yes to these questions then you may want to consider a Charitable Gift Annuity.
  • You can transfer cash or property to the Community Foundation now, get immediate tax benefits, and ensure that you or a loved one receive fixed quarterly or annual payments for life. This option is a great solution for many older charitable individuals.

    Unlike a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) a Charitable Gift Annuity is a contract between the donor and the Foundation.

    Based on the size of the gift, and the age of the donor(s) the Foundation pays a fixed annual sum to the donors for the rest of their lives - guaranteed!

    A Charitable Gift Annuity is not like other annuities. There are potentially substantial benefits for donors. To learn more, or get an exact calculation of the benefits for your clients, visit the website for the American Council of Gift Annuities: www.acga-web.org.


    Charitable Remainder Trust


    You can place cash or property in a trust that pays annual income to you or another named beneficiary for life. After your death, the remainder of the trust transfers to your Community Foundation and is placed in a charitable fund you select. You receive Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit for the year you establish your trust.

    Note: If you are not a professional advisor these questions may still be helpful in determining if a Charitable Remainder Trust is right for you.

  • Do your clients need current income to support their lifestyles?
  • Do your clients have children or grandchildren that need help paying for college?
  • Would they like to also provide immediate support to your favorite charity?
  • If you answered yes to these questions then you may want to consider a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT).
  • A CRT is a trust that provides for a specified distribution, at least annually, to one or more beneficiaries (you, your spouse, children, etc.) at least one of which is not a charity. The distribution must be paid at least annually for life or for a term of years, with an irrevocable remainder interest to be held for the benefit of, or paid over to, one or more qualified charities.

    The specified distribution must be either a sum certain, which is not less than five percent and not more than fifty percent of the initial net fair market value of all property placed in trust (a charitable remainder annuity trust), or a fixed percentage, which is not less than five percent and not more than fifty percent, of the net fair market value of the trust assets, valued annually (a charitable remainder unitrust).

    After your death, the remainder of the trust transfers to the Community Foundation and is placed in a charitable fund you select. You receive Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit for the year you establish your trust.


    Charitable Lead Trust


    You can place cash or property in a trust that pays a fixed amount to your Community Foundation for the number of years you select. Once this period ends, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you name. In some cases, you receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes. This can be described as the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. Upon death or the amount of years selected, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries named (usually children or grandchildren).

    Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) are designed to provide income to your favorite charities for a fixed term of years, the lives of one or more individuals, or a combination of the two; after which, trust assets are paid either back to the donor or to one or more non-charitable beneficiaries named in the trust instrument (spouse, children, etc.).

    Also referred to as a “Charitable Income Trust,” the term “Charitable Lead Trust” is used more commonly because the payment of the income interest to charity leads or precedes the payment of the remainder interest.

    This type of gift vehicle essentially allows you to support for favorite charity for a few years, and then provide financial support with tax benefits to a family member or relative - all with the same gift.


    ESTABLISHING A FUND

    You can help to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County by establishing your own endowed fund today. Anyone can make a real and lasting difference in the daily life of our community simply by starting a new fund or adding to an existing fund in the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Almost anything of value can be considered as a contribution to the Foundation, and unlike establishing a private trust, there is no cost associated with creating a fund.

    What is an Endowed Fund?

    Almost all of the funds at the Community Foundation are endowed. This means that the principal amount of the fund (usually the gifts received from the donor) is generally considered restricted and is intended to last forever.

    Grants are made from available earnings and/or appreciation based on investment returns and the Foundation's Spending Policy (see About section for a list of our policies). Grants are generally not made by dipping into the general principal of the fund, except in unusual or extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Foundation, or unless the donor gives explicit permission to do so.

    How do I Start an Endowed Fund?

    A gift may be made, or a fund established with a minimum of legal complexity, report making, and other entanglements. They can be established in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to honor. To become a donor, you can transfer your gift of stocks, bonds, real estate, cash or other assets to the Foundation with a letter stating the nature and intent of the contribution. Pledges of up to five years may also be used to create a fund.

    The Community Foundation is an extremely flexible charitable planning vehicle. As a public charity, we are committed to building community capital. Endowed gifts to the Foundation will continue to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County forever.

    Deferred Giving Options such as charitable remainder trusts, unitrusts or annuity trusts, or life insurance policies may be established to benefit the Foundation. Gifts may also be made through bequests in wills. As in any significant financial decision, you should review your plans with your attorney or tax advisor.

    Types of Funds

    Community Priorities Funds
    Allows a donor to have the greatest possible impact by giving the Foundation flexibility in responding to ever-changing community needs. These are the most highly recommended funds. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

    Operating Funds
    Allows donors to help the Foundation continue its efforts to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County. These funds provide support for general Foundation operations.

    Fields-of-Interest Funds
    Allows a donor to select a particular area of emphasis, such as education, seniors, health, recreation, etc., and then dedicates available grant dollars from that fund to address the most pressing issues within that field of interest. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

    Donor Advised Funds
    Allows donors to participate in the selection of grant recipients by advising the Foundation during the selection process. This is the fastest growing, and perhaps the most popular type of fund because it allows a donor and his or her family to also participate in community philanthropy. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

    Donor Designated or Agency Designated Funds
    Provides long-term, annual support to one or more charitable organizations chosen by the donor at the time the fund was created. All available grant funds are then awarded to those selected organizations. An Agency Designated Fund may be established by any nonprofit organization looking to invest in its future. Contact the Foundation staff for details. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

    Scholarship Funds
    May be used to further education of graduates of a particular high school, students in a specified field of study, or those enrolled at a chosen institution. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 2.0%. The minimum amount for a named, endowed scholarship fund is $50,000. Gifts that are $10,000 and higher have the option to be named and added to one of our school specific scholarship funds. View our scholarship funds »


    GIVING THROUGH MY ESTATE

    Planned giving does not require a large income or vast estate. Planned giving only requires a thoughtful intention to make a difference in your community by identifying the Community Foundation in your estate plan. We invite you to consider creating a lasting legacy by including the Community Foundation in your long-term charitable plans.

    Our Legacy Society

    Our Legacy Society recognizes and honors those donors who have made plans through their estate to give back to the community through the Community Foundation. We are grateful for their foresight, dedication and philanthropic spirit.

    Members of our Legacy Society recognize the importance of making a future gift through the foundation. Your thoughtful planning can encourage others to do so as well. Your planning today will benefit our community for generations to come!

    Our Legacy Society recognizes and forever honors the names and spirit of our donors. Joining can be as simple as informing the Community Foundation of your intention to make an estate gift. Download and return the Letter of Intent or contact Jackie Hanton at 810-984-4761 or jackie@stclairfoundation.org for more information.

    Planning Your Legacy

    You can support the arts, enrich education, promote community development, foster a stronger community… tell us what is important to you.

    Must I give a large portion of my estate to join the Legacy Society?
    No. We value and appreciate all gifts, and believe the best gift is the one that’s right for you. To be recognized as a Legacy Society member you only need to indicate that you have included the Community Foundation as part of your estate plan.

    How do I give through my estate?

  • Bequest in your Will
  • Bequest in your Trust
  • Beneficiary designation in your IRA, 401(k) or other employee benefit plan, or life insurance
  • We provide confidential philanthropic services to prospective donors and their advisors, without pressure or obligation.

    Planning an estate gift allows you to strategically accomplish both financial and charitable objectives. For some people, a large charitable gift during your lifetime can be financially uncomfortable because you may be uncertain about your health, wealth, and personal commitments.


    CARES ACT

    CARES Act Provides Charitable Giving Incentives for 2020

    You may be unsure if it is the right time for you or your family to do more to help the community you love during this unprecedented crisis.

    New tax incentives offered in the CARES Act for 2020 make this a perfect time for more charitable giving. And the Community Foundation of St. Clair County is uniquely qualified to help you make the most of this opportunity to amplify your philanthropy.

    You Should Know

    • Gifts to donor-advised funds and gifts to private foundations are not eligible for CARES Act tax incentives.
    • The Community Foundation offers several types of charitable Funds that are eligible for the new law’s tax incentives.

    Here are examples of endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation that you can create, or add to, that qualify for the CARES Act’s extraordinary tax incentives:

    Community Investment Fund:
    Help tackle our big challenges today and those that emerge in the future. We deploy support from this Fund where it can make the most impact in our community, as that need changes over time. This type of Fund offers the most flexibility in grantmaking.

    Field of Interest Fund:
    Your Fund can be created to support a particular issue (health, education, environment, arts, etc.) that’s close to your heart. During times of crisis and beyond, your Fund can respond with help for our community that reflects your values, passions and goals for that issue.

    Designated Fund:
    Allows you to focus grantmaking to specific charitable organizations you love. You can rest assured that your favorite organizations will have a permanent revenue stream to support their missions in good times and bad.

    CARES Act Tax Incentives Include:

    • Cash gifts to public charities in 2020 can be tax deductible up to 100 percent of adjusted gross income. That means your gift to the Community Foundation could enable you to pay no federal income tax for 2020.
    • Non-cash gifts, e.g. securities, can still be deducted up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income and cash gifts can make up the balance to reach the total of 100% benefit allowed in 2020.
    • Those who give more than their taxable income in 2020 can carry forward unused cash gift deductions for up to five years.
    • While the new law waives required minimum distributions from most retirement plans during 2020, you can still make charitable contributions of up to $100,000 from your IRAs without it affecting your taxable adjusted gross income. (Gifts from an IRA to create or add to Community Investment Fund, Field of Interest or Designated Funds at the Community Foundation meet the criteria for qualified charitable distributions.)

    The CARES Act creates an extraordinary opportunity for you to give back and receive a tax benefit. And by giving through the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your support goes where it’s needed the most to tackle our community’s challenges and opportunities and move towards prosperity.

    Through the power of your endowed Fund or a gift to one of our 200+ funds, you will create bold and timely impact for your community today and for future generations.

    Let’s talk about how the Community Foundation can work with you to create a lasting impact. You can contact Jackie Hanton, jackie@stclairfoundation.org or 810-984-4761 for a confidential discussion.