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Feeling the pinch: Fundraising food for thought

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The daily news may not be offering overwhelming hope for a productive giving season, but that shouldn’t stop you from charging ahead with plans to secure the philanthropic resources your organization needs to carry out its mission. Here are three ways you can take action.

First, stay in touch with the team at the community foundation. Every day, we are talking with families, individuals, and businesses about their charitable giving goals, and we help develop creative ways to meet those goals even during tough economic times.

As you meet with your donors, listen closely for the desire to give tempered by hesitation in light of the wild stock market and inflation. Donors who are feeling this tension may be good candidates for planned giving commitments such as bequests and charitable remainder trusts. The community foundation is happy to help structure and facilitate those gifts alongside your team. 

Second, keep talking about stock gifts. We mention this a lot, for good reason. Giving appreciated, long-term capital gains property is extremely tax-efficient for the donor, which can translate into a bigger gift to your organization. And despite Wall Street’s woes, not all stock is down. Plenty of donors still hold highly-appreciated publicly-traded stock, and many donors own highly-appreciated private company interests. The community foundation can help you structure gifts of either of these types of investments. 

Third, don’t ignore your endowment. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes an economic downturn is the best time to start talking with donors about major legacy gifts to your endowment or reserve fund. When everyone is feeling the pain of the economy, it may be easier for donors to empathize with your organization’s need to have plenty of reserves on hand to ensure that in future periods of hard times, you will not need to turn away people who need help. Talk with the team at Akron Community Foundation about how donors can make gifts directly to your endowment fund.     

For more info about establishing an agency endowment fund, contact Brian Reitz at breitz@akronf.org.

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