Gift of grain provides powerful way for farmers to give back to community

Farmers put in countless hours planting and caring for crops, however they may not realize that what they plant could reap benefits for the community after harvest time. While most people think of making charitable contributions in the form of cash, farmers may consider benefitting their community with a gift of grain.

Donating a gift of grain to the Waterville Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, is a simple way to make a difference in your local community. The value of the grain can be used to start an endowed fund in the name of an individual or family, be given to a specific nonprofit organization or support the overall charitable causes in Waterville.

By giving grain to the Community Foundation, farmers can avoid including the sale of the grain in their farm income. Although a charitable income tax deduction is generally not available, the significant benefit is the avoidance of declaring it as income. The cost of growing the crops is deducted, which typically results in saving self-employment tax, federal income tax and state income tax. Benefits can be had even if one does not itemize the deductions and takes the standard deduction. Farmers considering a gift of grain are encouraged to first discuss this option with a tax advisor.

The simplest way to give a gift of grain is to let the Community Foundation know of the intended gift. The gift should be from unsold crop inventory with no sale commitment made prior to the gift. The crop is then taken to the grain buyer and the seller tells the buyer how much grain he/she would like to put into an account set up by the Waterville Community Foundation. The grain buyer then notifies the Community Foundation which sells the grain and receives the sale proceeds.

Gifts of grain to endowment funds with a qualified community foundation, like the Waterville Community Foundation, are eligible for a 25% state tax credit on the total value of the gift through the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program. All qualified donors can carry forward the tax credit for up to five years after the year the donation was made.

More information about Endow Iowa can be found at www.cfneia.org/endowiowa.

Crops are the livelihood and life of our local farmer. Farmers prepare, plant and nurture, and the crops grow. That’s what the Community Foundation does with the charitable gifts entrusted to us.

Questions about gift of grain or other types of gifts can be directed to Terry Gaumer, affiliate development director with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, at 319-243-1354 or tgaumer@cfneia.org.

For more information about the Waterville Community Foundation, visit www.watervillecf.org.

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