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A Charitable Gift Can Help Your Community to Grow

October 14, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Many people appreciate the many ways charitable gift support benefits our communities and our quality of life. Whether a nonprofit organization is large, medium or small, it can grow and expand its programs and operations through charitable support.

But often the choice of ways to make a helpful gift can be confusing. Of course, the gift can be given directly to the nonprofit organization. Also, where a community foundation is available, is that a better alternative?

One of the major considerations is the purpose of the gift. If it will benefit one organization and carry out something specific to that organization, the organization itself is generally the best recipient. It can provide the most efficient handling of the gift and related services needed.

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The exception would be when the nonprofit does not have a staff that can handle the gift administration needs well because of other program commitments. If so, then the community foundation may be a better alternative. Especially when the gift you are considering is for a very small organization, such as a cemetery association, sending the funds to the community foundation generally permits more professional investing and handling efforts. It makes sense to check with the nonprofit you want to benefit to see what their preference would be.

Also, when a gift can be used in a way that changes year to year or the fund's terms allow the award recipient to select the nonprofit (such as a scholarship that allows the student to attend any college), a community foundation is a useful choice for handling that gift fund.

Whether the gift will be made directly to the nonprofit or to the community foundation, always check to be sure that the gift amount is appropriate for what you want to accomplish. The fund can be set up to be spent on a short-term basis or can be established to operate on a permanent basis (an endowment fund). A written agreement should be drawn up to assure that your choices will be fulfilled.

Community foundations have aided many in the Mountain State. In this area, the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley continues to grow and help residents support area nonprofits striving to carry out their vital programs.

Whether made directly to a nonprofit or to a community foundation, a supportive charitable gift can help improve our everyday world in truly important ways.

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