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- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)42
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)3
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
Three year-end questions about charities
By Trudy Lee
director of planned giving
Southeast Missouri State University Foundation
As you tidy up your financial affairs for this year, you will likely be thinking about your charitable giving goals and aspirations. The charities participating in Leave A Legacy of the Heartland this year hope you have learned of some charitable possibilities that may help you and the charities you hold dear.
As Dec. 31 approaches, here are a few questions to help you plan.
1. Am I able to make a charitable gift this year?
As the year closes, you will likely receive mail from various charities requesting your financial assistance. During this period, we hope you will remember our local charities and our ongoing financial needs. We are eager to conclude this year in good financial shape so we can confidently face the opportunities and challenges of the future. Your special year-end gift will strengthen us considerably.
A gift may be unrestricted to be used where needed most. Or it could be earmarked for a specific purpose. For example, you could designate your gift for capital expenses, such as new construction or remodeling projects. You could also establish an endowment fund to create a legacy or to honor someone you admire.
2. What are my tax obligations this year?
Many taxpayers consult with their accountants before the end of the year to determine tax liability. Perhaps you've done this already or maybe you simply have a good idea where you stand. In any case, we encourage you to take advantage of the tax benefits offered by the government. The income tax charitable deduction can allow you to give more than you might otherwise be able to give.
Are your taxes likely to be high this year? Then it may be a good time to increase your giving. You might even consider moving forward some of next year's giving into this year so you can utilize the tax benefits this year.
3. Do I have appreciated stock or real estate I could use to fund an income-for-life gift arrangement?
You may find yourself in a situation where you want to give more to charity but cannot afford to decrease your annual income. Consider a life income arrangement such as a gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust. A gift of an appreciated asset, such as stock or real estate, to fund a life income plan may result in more income than you are currently receiving from the asset.
Your professional advisor(s) are the best ones to assist you in planning a gift of this type. Most charities (particularly those listed below) can assist you by providing more information to you and your advisor(s) on the ways charitable gift planning can help you.
It's not too late
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it is not too late to complete a charitable gift by year-end. However, if you are planning to use stock or real estate, either as an outright gift or to fund a life income plan, you must begin immediately. Consultations with your professional adviser(s) take time. The sooner you begin the process, the less hurried you will feel.
The following charitable organizations have participated this year in Leave A Legacy of the Heartland:
American Red Cross
Area Wide United Way
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cape Girardeau
Centenary United Methodist Church
Chateau Girardeau Foundation
Friends of Cape Girardeau Public Library Foundation
Girl Scouts of Otahki Council
The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri
Kenny Rogers Children's Center
Lutheran Family and Children's Services
Old Town Cape
Regional Family Crisis Center
Riverside Regional Library
Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
Safe House for Women
SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence
Southeast Missouri District Fair Association
SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence
Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation
Southeast Missouri University Foundation
Teen Challenge International of Mid-America