Philanthropy is important nationally and in FD

National Philanthropy Day was Nov. 15. The purpose of this day is to recognize and pay tribute to those individuals who have been philanthropic to our communities and world.

The Fort Dodge community nonprofit organizations play key roles in our community.

Each organization in our community has a different mission, but a common goal is to enrich the lives of residents and to make Fort Dodge a better place to work and live.

The Iowa Central Community College Foundation supports the mission of the college with funds not available from other sources for the benefit of the college, students, faculty and staff. Raising money for student scholarships remains the key focus for the foundation because today student tuition and fees account for 62 percent of the college’s revenue sources. Students and families struggle to fund a college education, so scholarships make college more affordable.

Wealth transfer in Webster County over the next 50 years is estimated to be $7.8 billion. This large wealth transfer offers an unprecedented opportunity to make Fort Dodge even better for years to come.

If you are uncomfortable about talking to a charity about a possible gift, there are great resources for people to explore how to make a gift; websites like Leave a Legacy, Iowa, development officers, and professional advisers can explain the different types of gifts or the different ways you can make a gift to a nonprofit organization (cash, securities, real estate, or a planned gift). If you are contemplating making a gift there is still time to take advantage of the provision that allows individuals who are 70 1/2 or older to give away as much as $100,000 from their IRA directly to eligible charities, without having to include any of the distribution in their gross income. The transfer also counts towards the required minimum distribution. This provision is only extended through the end of 2013, and nobody can assess the mood of Congress right now to know if they will extend this opportunity.

Philanthropy is alive and well in Fort Dodge. The newspaper has been full of stories of philanthropic gifts and acts of kindness. The Fort Dodge community has been blessed with generous gifts, but also with countless volunteer hours which have helped nonprofits achieve their missions.

I would be remiss not to thank the supporters of the Iowa Central Community College Foundation.

Your generous gifts have been key to the success of our students and our institution.

As a development professional, I know the other charitable organizations would also join me in thanking everyone who has been philanthropic to our institutions as we celebrate National Philanthropy Day.

Laurie Hendricks is vice president of development and alumni relations at Iowa Central Community College.