What is the LENS Endowment?
The LENS program, as part of the IOP Exchange Club's Community Service Committee, announced the establishment of an Endowment to fulfill its mission of supporting the IOPPD and Community.
The purpose of the Endowment is to ensure long-term sustainability of this successful program. Once established, the goal of the Endowment is to distribute 5% a year, or greater under extraordinary circumstances, as agreed upon by the LENS Selection Panel and the LENS Endowment Oversight Committee.
LENS financial awards to IOPPD and community totaling $20,000 were made in the first eight months of the program.
What will the Endowment be used for?
The IOP LENS Endowment is an opportunity to help others in need and provide a good self-feeling. The Endowment will be eligible to fund hardship awards, community-based programs, special IOPPD requests and other programs of merit as approved by the LENS Selection Panel.
The IOP Exchange Club has grown due to the generosity of its members, local businesses, sponsors and donors of which we are forever grateful. This has allowed us to provide greater service for Veterans, active service members, our community, prevention of child abuse and youth support. The Endowment is one more way we can extend our service to those in need in the community and to our local Isle of Palms Police Department.
How can I contribute towards the Endowment?
Individuals or organizations may support the Tax-Exempt Endowment by two primary means: One, by the automatic “Monthly Giving” program. Two, by donations through “Estate Giving.”
The Monthly Giving program will be supported by a third party, Donor Box, whereby individuals may sign up, select a desired amount, and those funds will be directed and automatically donated each month.
Qualified Charitable Distributions
For donors over the age of 72.5 there is an IRS rule that allows you to send money directly from your qualified retirement plan such as an IRA to the charity of your choice. You can choose to do a direct transfer of funds from your IRA account payable directly to the charity of your choice up to $100,000 per year, which is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). In addition to helping your favorite charity, the distribution is excluded from your taxable income but still satisfies your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), which might help keep you in lower tax bracket, and reduce taxable income impact on Social Security and Medicare.
Appreciated Equities or Stocks
If a donor has not reached age 72.5 but still wants to make donations from their assets, they can choose to donate equities or stocks that have appreciated over the years. This will allow the donor to repurchase the investment if they choose and reset the tax basis of the stock. This type of donation allows for the donor to support the charity of their choice while avoiding paying the tax on the appreciation of their investment.
For many individuals and families, giving today might not be feasible due to variety of reasons, however they still would like to help financially. In that case, they can choose to leave a legacy through a direct designation of the charity as a full or partial beneficiary on their life insurance policy, investment account, Individual Retirement Account, or within their last Will and Testament. This form of giving has the potential to reduce estate taxes and help the organization in a very meaningful way.
For many working individuals a charitable gift could be doubled if the individual works at a company that will match the cash gift. Many local and national companies will match charitable giving up to a specific amount, so make sure you check with your employer to increase the total amount the charity will receive without having larger out of pocket expense. You can use the link below to see if your employer offers a matching gift: https://www.matchinggifts.com/unh/
Donor Advised Fund
Another way to participate in the LENS Endowment is through a Donor Advised Fund. This strategy has become more popular since the 2018 Tax Reform Act became a law and many accountants have begun urging their clients to “bunch” their charitable donations every other year so they can overcome the larger standard deduction and itemize their deductions in those years. Donor-advised funds are charitable giving accounts offered by sponsoring organizations such as Edward Jones, Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab, which give you an immediate tax deduction, while allowing you to give funds over many years. The investments are usually professionally managed at low cost, and you control the timing and the recipient(s) for distributions.
What are the benefits of donating towards the Endowment?
The Estate Giving program may consist of the following benefits for individuals:
$100K IRA distribution
Stock Appreciation benefits
Estate Tax Reduction
*Tax and Financial advisors should always be consulted.
How is the Endowment being managed?
Our LENS Endowment Oversight Committee alongside our LENS Selection Panel work diligently to ensure donations are allocated appropriately in order to fund hardship awards, community-based programs, special IOPPD requests and other programs of merit.
The fund will be professionally managed by Dimi Matouchev, CFP, AAMS with Edward Jones. Donors will donate to the IOPCC/LENS c/o Dimi. Dimi will manage the funds in a moderate growth portfolio consisting of cash, income, growth and stocks and bonds.
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. Helping our communities and neighbors often leaves us with a sense of elation, a sense of accomplishment and pride, and excitement for the future."