Foundation Focus FALL 2020

Smart Year-End Giving Strategies

Fall is the time of year when many donors begin considering their year-end charitable giving plans. Many of them are taking advantage of two tax-wise strategies for maximizing their charitable impact:

Giving Appreciated Stock

As the stock market continues to recover from its downturn earlier this year, now is a great time to reap the tax benefits of donating long-term appreciated stock – stock that has been held for one year or longer and has increased in value since it was purchased.

“Giving stock is a simple, convenient and smart way to provide support to the nonprofit organizations and causes that fundholders care about,” according to Josh Stein, JCF Director of Philanthropy. “Transferring appreciated stock to the Foundation can offer greater tax benefits than donating cash and provides a great opportunity to establish a new fund or replenish an existing one.”

A donor can gift appreciated stock (including mutual funds, ETFs and options) to their Donor Advised Fund (charitable giving account) now, while stock prices are high, and receive the tax benefit in the current year. The Foundation sells the stock and adds the proceeds to one of JCF’s various investment options selected by the donor. The money is then available to the donor to give to charity whenever they choose – this year or in future years.

Advantages of giving appreciated stock to a Donor Advised Fund at the Foundation:

  • Eligible to receive an income tax deduction for the full market value of the stock (up to 30% of your adjusted gross income)
  • Avoid paying capital gains taxes
  • Generously support the charities that are important to you

Bunching donations

Another creative technique that donors may use to maximize the tax benefits of their charitable giving is a strategy called “bunching.” As a result of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many people who previously itemized their taxes have lost the deduction they once received for their charitable contributions. While most people give for more altruistic reasons than the associated tax benefit, nearly everyone wants to give efficiently and maximize their charitable resources. For this reason, financial publications and tax strategists have been promoting the concept of “bunching” by utilizing Donor Advised Funds.

Simply put, individuals can bunch multiple years’ worth of charitable gifts into a single year (often using cash or appreciated stock – which offers additional benefits, see above) enabling them to exceed the threshold needed for itemization and thereby receive the maximum available tax benefits. The Foundation makes this strategy viable since donors can contribute those funds into a Donor Advised Fund, receive the deduction in the year the gift is made, and then use those funds to support multiple years’ worth of giving on the donor’s own timetable.

To put these strategies to work for you, please contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121 or jstein@jcfkc.org.

2020 Charitable Giving Deadlines

To be eligible for a 2020 tax deduction:

  • Checks must be received in the JCF office by 4:30 pm on December 31 or postmarked by Dec. 31.
  • Stock must be received into a JCF account by December 31.
  • Credit Card transactions must be posted to your credit card account by December 31.

Visit jcfkc.org/calendar for more details.

L’shana Tova to Our Foundation Family

Dear Friends,

Hello and Happy New Year to you and your families! We’ve been working closely with our Jewish communal agency partners to provide resources to help them navigate this difficult time. We’ve shared vital information about resources to maintain full operations and tips for keeping connected with donors. Using email, our website, and social media platforms, we’ve promoted ways donors can help vulnerable populations most affected by COVID-19 in Kansas City. Through September, JCF fundholders have made more than 300 separate grants to 97 different organizations, both local and national, totaling about $825,000, to provide assistance to those hardest hit by the pandemic.

With the health and safety of the community, our Board, and our staff in mind, we’ve been operating remotely since the third week of March. Although we haven’t been physically present at our office on Campus, we have been conducting all our usual business with the help of technology. Phone calls, teleconferences, emails and some old-fashioned snail mail have facilitated a seamless transition. One-on-one meetings with fundholders, grant-making committees, J-LEAD, Board committees and even staff meetings have been taking place on their regular schedules, albeit virtually. Our weekly grant runs continue, expedited by a significant shift to electric fund transfer which means that the charitable organizations you care about are getting their money even more quickly than before COVID-19.

We’re extremely proud of the way the Foundation family and the Kansas City Jewish community more broadly have responded to the challenge presented by COVID-19. Thanks to all of you, your generosity and resilience, we’ve helped navigate these uncharted waters together beautifully. As we move into 5781, may our commitment to tzedakah and our wonderful community continue to guide us.

Alice Jacks Achtenberg, President, and Lauren Mattleman Hoopes, Executive Director

Grants & Giving Opportunities Focus on the Kansas City Jewish community

The Foundation’s Grants Committee recently awarded its second round of grants this year from the Community Legacy Fund. The Fund is comprised of permanent endowments that are used to support our Jewish community. The Community Legacy Fund has two major priorities and granting cycles: Innovative/Emergency Needs, which occurred in June, and Core Grants, which just recently occurred in September. Core grants focus on operational expenses that organizations need for everyday functions. Grants may be made for rent, utilities, software, and to help make organizations more stable. The following organizations received Core grants:

Avodah • BBYO • Community Kollel of Kansas City • Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy • The J • Jewish Community Campus • JCRB/AJC • Jewish Family Services • Jewish Vocational Service • Community Mikveh • Kosher Meals on Wheels • KU Hillel • Midwest Center for Holocaust Education • Mizzou Hillel • Moishe House • Orthodox Union • Overland Park Eruv • Rabbinical Association • Vaad HaKashruth • Village Shalom

For many years, the Foundation has circulated agency wish lists to fundholders. Beatrice Fine, Director of Funder Services and Education says, “ I have found it to be very gratifying to see the response to our communications about community needs this year. Our donors are very generous individuals who wish to have an immediate impact on the organizations they choose to support.” In response to these communications, fundholder Marcia Karbank made a generous grant to Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy to purchase microphones, webcams, tripods and USB hubs to aid students in distance learning.

For a list of giving opportunities, visit jcfkc.org/CurrentNeeds.

For more information about the Community Legacy Fund or current community needs, contact Beatrice Fine at (913) 327-4618 or bfine@jcfkc.org.

Legacy Learning Goes Virtual

On Thursday, August 27, the Foundation hosted one of its regular Parking Lot Lunch programs to engage and motivate the community professionals and volunteer leaders involved in agency or synagogue planned giving efforts. Rabbi Daniel Cohen of Stamford, Connecticut presented live via Zoom on the topic of “At the Heart of What Matters: Helping Others Fulfill Their Legacy.” Rabbi Cohen spoke about the meaningful nature of conversations surrounding one’s charitable legacy and how valued these dialogues are by both donor and fundraiser.

The program was well-received by the attendees who represented numerous local Jewish agencies and synagogues. There was notably robust attendance from the Jewish Federation and The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, both of whom have expressed renewed commitment to this endeavor and partnership with the Foundation. The Parking Lot Lunch series, funded by the Sam and Lucy Gould JCF Program Fund, is part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting the local agencies and synagogues in their planned giving and general development efforts.

For more information on the Foundation’s Create a Jewish Legacy initiative or leaving your own charitable legacy, contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121 or jstein@jcfkc.org.

JCF Charitable Gift Cards are the perfect Hanukkah gift!

  • Give the gift of giving
  • Redeemable for a donation to any IRS-approved charity
  • Share the joy of giving with younger generations
  • Email and mail delivery available


Honor Your Loved One with a JCF Fund

A JCF fund is a wonderful way to memorialize or honor a loved one. The Foundation stewards numerous memorial and tribute funds, many of which have received hundreds of contributions from people across the country.

“My parents supported many worthy causes, so establishing a memorial fund meant that we could continue that effort in their names, over time, according to the most urgent needs. Also, it was very meaningful - and frankly, convenient - to be able to direct friends and loved ones who wanted to give in their memory to a single fund that bore their names,” says Victor Wishna, who opened the Jeanette & Sheldon Wishna Memorial Fund in honor of his parents.

For more information, please contact Josh Stein at (913) 327-8121 or jstein@jcfkc.org.