How Does the Community Foundation Work?

It starts with DONORS (Individuals, Corporations, Private Foundations, NonProfit Organizations), with a PASSION (Arts, Education, Environment, Community Wellness, Faith), who use their GIFTS (Cash, Securities, Real Assets, Retirement Funds, Insurance, Bequests), to CREATE Endowed Funds (Agency Funds, Designated Funds, Unrestricted Funds, Field of Interest Funds, Scholarships), all of which are governed by a legal agreement between the Morton Community Foundation and the donor.  DISTRIBUTIONS from the endowments fulfill the donors' charitable passions through SCHOLARSHIPS for students, or GRANTS to charitable organizations.  Our staff meets with donors to help determine which type of fund is right for their goals, assist donors with giving more complex gifts, help donors grow their funds, provide statements on fund activity, offer expertise on community needs, and preserve the donors wishes in perpetuity.

Deciding to Give

Many people come to a point in their lives where they feel inclined to give back.  They do so for a number of reasons, all very personal to them.  What motivates you?  Perhaps you feel strongly about a cause. Perhaps an organization has touched your life or the lives of loved ones.  Maybe you want to create a legacy and set an example that inspires others to give.  Or your giving is a way to get your family together and pass along your values to younger generations.

For as many motivations as there are to give, there are ways of giving.  The key to having a rewarding giving experience is finding the best fit—for your charitable priorities, financial goals, and personal preferences.  This checklist is designed to help you and your professional advisor determine the custom giving solution that’s right for you.

The Power of Endowment

A half century ago, Paul Cesarz made a choice that continues to benefit his community today. He created an endowed fund in 1952 with $150,000 in assets. The fund immediately began earning income and distributing grants to causes important to him. Fifty years later and 35 years after Paul’s death, the Cesarz Fund had grown to $1,066,003. And in that 50th year, it generated more than $50,000 in grants, supporting a range of community needs—a park renovation, a museum exhibit, cancer research, and more. Because Paul chose to endow his gift, he has enabled more than $1.1 million in grants to go to his community—almost eight times the impact he would have made by giving the original gift to charity all at once. And though Paul has passed away, the fund in his name will go on supporting his community, leaving a lasting legacy.

This example comes from another Community Foundation, but it can happen in Morton too.  We'd love to help you set up an endowment that creates a permanent source of revenue for charities or charitable purposes that are close to your heart.  CLICK HERE for an example of a fund that was established upon the death of the donor, to support her 8 favorite charities... forever.

Charitable Funds

THERE ARE A VARIETY OF GIVING OPTIONS.  You can give to an existing fund, or create your own fund.  Choose the type of fund that's right for you.  A fund can be started with a minimum commitment of $10,000.  You don't need to give all $10,000 at once, though.  A gift of as little as $1,000, along with a commitment to at least $1,000/yr until the fund reaches $10,00, can get a fund started.

ESTABLISH A FUND IN YOUR NAME.  Any of the funds can be established in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to remember or honor.  All grants distributed from the fund you establish - today and in the future - are then awarded to charities in the name of that fund.  It's a great way to always be involved with, and remembered for, your community investment.

Choosing Community Over Taxes

Naming the Morton Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy is not only easy to do, it is also a way to make a significant and lasting gift to our community that may not be possible during your lifetime.

If you are concerned with potentially high estate taxes, the charitable beneficiary designation is a good choice because the benefit payment is generally excluded from your estate for tax purposes. And, because you may change the beneficiary designation at any time, your decision is revocable.

One of the most tax-efficient ways to give back to your community is by designating the Morrton Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, whether it is a 401(k), 403(b), IRA (individual retirement account), or other qualified retirement program. These assets could be taxed at rates as high as 75 percent upon your death. Estate taxes may be due in addition to the taxes your heirs may pay on the income in respect of the decedent (IRD). For these reasons, many advisors recommend retirement plan assets as the first to be designated for charitable purposes. Although your retirement plan beneficiary form overrides your will, it is important that both documents are up-to-date and consistent.

MCF 990 Tax Returns

If you would like to see 990 tax returns that are not listed here, please contact us.

MCF Audit Reports

If you would like to see audit reports that are not listed here, please contact us.