Tag Archives: Northern Kentucky

Make the Most of Your Generosity with Endow Kentucky Tax Credit

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Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper used the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit to benefit Covington Partners.

By Suzanne Rohlfs, Director of Development and Professional Advisor Relations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

In my work at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I’m privileged to help generous people make the most of their giving. This is why I’m happy to share an upcoming opportunity in Northern Kentucky that benefits Kentucky taxpayers and makes the most of their generosity.

What is the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit?

The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit enables any Kentucky taxpayer (business or individual) to receive a state tax credit of up to 20% of a charitable gift to a permanent endowment fund at a local community foundation (up to $10,000 per taxpayer).

Unlike a tax deduction, a credit is taken off the tax bill dollar for dollar. So, if a donor has a Kentucky tax bill of $1,000, a donation of $5,000 through Endow Kentucky would eliminate that tax altogether (20% of $5,000 is $1,000). Federal and State charitable tax deductions are still available for these gifts.

In 2016, $1,000,000 in tax credits are available beginning July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

Limited time opportunity

Applications for fiscal year 2017, (which begins July 1, 2016) will be accepted through June 30, 2017, or until the credits run out, whichever comes first. Note that tax credits may be depleted in the first week of July, so I recommend applying on July 1, 2016.

What gifts qualify for the Endow Kentucky tax credit?

Gifts can be cash or appreciated stock, and must be made to a qualified community foundation, such as The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Donors may also create a new endowment fund. Endowed funds are permanent funds which provide annual support to the named organization. The fund must benefit a Kentucky organization.

Jumpstart your nonprofit’s endowment

Are you part of a nonprofit looking for a way to grow or start your organization’s endowment? Endow Kentucky is a great way to build your endowment.

What our donors are saying

I asked Chuck Scheper why he and his wife, Julie Geisen Scheper, used Endow Kentucky in the past.

“My wife and I found setting up an Endow Kentucky fund to support one of our favorite charities, Covington Partners, was not only a very tax efficient way to go with both a tax deduction and the state tax credit, but it’s also comforting to know that we are setting up a legacy of giving to this organization for many years to come,”
-Chuck Scheper

Why a tax credit?

The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit is a response to a study that showed a substantial intergenerational transfer of wealth would occur in the next few decades and that many of these dollars would likely leave the state (often passed by parents to adult children who move away). Kentucky offers the tax credit as an incentive to keep charitable dollars in the state and to use them for the permanent support and long-term sustainability of Kentucky nonprofits.

Need help?

Suzanne RohlfsConsult your tax advisor for further information and additional tax advantages.

Contact Suzanne Rohlfs, Michele Carey, or Laura Menge at 513-241-2880 to discuss your plans for making a gift that may qualify for the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit.

Suzanne Rohlfs is the Director of Development and Professional Advisor Relations of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

 

 

Culture of ideas, innovation growing in every corner of Greater Cincinnati

Winners from the 2013 Big Idea Challenge
Winners from the 2013 Big Idea Challenge

By Beth Benson, Vice President for Communications & Marketing, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Two years ago, we announced the winners of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s “Big Idea Challenge,” a project we dreamed up to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We thought it would be Big but we never dreamed how Big!

More than 200 people submitted ideas to make Greater Cincinnati greater! These big thinkers were all ages, from all over the region. 6,000 of you voted to pick 7 winners, who received grants to test out their ideas.

Download our report on how each of the 7 Big Idea projects have fared since 2013 [PDF]. 

It was exciting to be at the beginning of a wave of many contest, challenge, and individual grant programs – we’re thrilled to see how this culture of ideas and innovation is growing in every corner of our community.

Check out these local contest, challenge and individual grant programs:

Arts

Covington

General

We’re excited to connect you with these diverse initiatives! Please add any more you know of in the comments.

Our Donors are Leaders in Greater Cincinnati

Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington. Chuck and Julie are GCF donors.Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington.

By Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation exists to leverage your generosity into solutions to problems you care about. Together we are able to create a more prosperous community.

“You don’t just want to write a check and feel good about it. You want to see improvement.”
Chuck Scheper. Read more of Chuck’s story.

We want to support you in determining how best to use your charitable resources.

“We decided to partner with GCF to support Withrow Dental Center because it is an innovative healthcare solution that has been proven successful.”
Jeff and Heather Spanbauer. Read more of this partnership.

A community foundation is developed by and for a community of people. Because of your generosity in 2014:

As you can see, helping you most effectively invest your charitable resources in the areas you are most passionate is the engine of our work.

“It was difficult for me, so I’d like to pass on the opportunity to someone from a similar background who is really eager to go to school and does not have the means to do it.”
Laura Harrison. Read more of Laura’s story.

Let’s find out how we can work together.

Ellen M. Katz is the CEO/President of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Building Meaningful Connections

Our 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal. Learn more about our work with the Cultural Facilities Task Force.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal.

By Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

As the new face here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I’ve been busy learning all about the meaningful connections GCF makes in the community.

The spirit of giving in the Tristate is legendary, and we are proud of the part we play. By partnering with many in our community, GCF granted more than $77 million to nonprofits in 2014.

You may be surprised at the many things GCF has had a hand in, thanks to our generous donors.

A few of the projects in which GCF has invested:

In taking this job, I’m excited by GCF being the region’s leading convener.

By partnering with many organizations and community leaders, GCF has helped to develop a shared vision of community change, save two local icons,  support big ideas, inspire the next generation of philanthropists, improve racial equity, and connect many interested donors to causes they care about.

GCF is often there, providing support behind-the-scenes.

Another important role for us is building the nonprofit capacity in our region. We do this in many ways – through grantmaking, impact investing, and support to nonprofits. Our nonprofits are top-notch in Greater Cincinnati, providing for the good of our community in countless ways.

I personally subscribe to the values of servant leadership, where the needs of others are put first.

That’s why I love the story of the women leaders of the Fresh Air Society, who realized their mission to provide tenement families a respite in the country was obsolete. They went on to partner with the local banking community to start The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in 1963.

I look forward to partnering with you, as I begin my journey here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Ellen M. Katz is the CEO/President of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Urban Renaissance in Covington

Welcome to our blog, Leadership Matters. In this forum, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation‘s leaders will focus on timely and challenging community issues, and the role that GCF, its donors, and other partners play in creating a more thriving and vibrant community.

In our second post, GCF’s Kathy Merchant looks at what it takes to help revitalize our communities over the long term – it’s not quick, and it’s not easy, but it matters.

GCF Donors take a tour of Covington
GCF donors take a tour of Covington. See the rest of our tour photos on Facebook.

Transformation of Covington’s neighborhoods is advancing at a rapid pace! Just 15 years ago, only a few community organizations toiled in the trenches to slow neighborhood decline – even as the riverfront was being successfully developed in Covington and Newport.

Last month we took some GCF donors to see Covington’s revitalization, starting at the Center for Great Neighborhoods where community developers have been hard at work since 1976. We saw the proof of how far things have come thanks to increased and sustained investment in both traditional and new groups

Covington Row Houses
Row houses in Covington being renovated.

Revitalizing Covington started with a vision for change. Forward Quest (now known as Vision 2015) called for an “urban renaissance” in Northern Kentucky. Slowly but surely, resources and organizations joined to jump start the revitalization effort. The projects our donors saw on the Covington tour resulted from many years of hard work, collaboration among multiple partners, and a series of complex funding strategies.

GCF is proud to have been a strong and committed partner throughout this process. What made this possible? Our community’s generous donors.

Since 2000, GCF has shared a steady stream of grants, loans, and equity investments from our endowed community funds and from The Northern Kentucky Fund of GCF to renovate buildings, start new businesses, advance K-12 and higher education, support lifelong learning, build a stronger workforce, and revitalize neighborhoods.

The total invested by GCF in the leading nonprofit organizations featured in this post is $7.3 million.

GCF was instrumental in bringing the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. LISC is a national organization that works through local programs to help community residents transform distressed neighborhoods. LISC provides financial resources, shapes public policy, and provides technical assistance. Since 2000, LISC has helped to renovate nearly 2,000 houses and apartments and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Starting in 2007, LISC tapped Covington for a comprehensive initiative called PlaceMatters, patterned on a national LISC model called Building Sustainable Communities.

Mutual Building
Mutual Building

A major new development tool accelerating Northern Kentucky’s urban renaissance is the Catalytic Fund. GCF provided an impact investment (loan) to help seed a $10 million development fund, and also helped get the Catalytic Fund off the ground. The Fund’s work includes redevelopment of the historic Mutual Building, right in the center of Covington’s re-emerging business district, creating market-rate housing and commercial space. Restoring this architectural jewel will catalyze the return of the area as Covington’s hub of New Economy business activity. The Catalytic Fund provided subordinate mortgage gap financing for this project and coordinated all financing. (UpTech, an anchor tenant, is described below.)

Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) has worked for 25-plus years to finance community development efforts in the region. GCF made its first impact investment to CDF in 2002 to help begin a process of diversifying the downtown neighborhood by adding more middle income residents to alleviate the concentration of poverty, and has since approved a second loan. Now, CDF is financing a 32-unit rental conversion project in historic downtown Covington, complementing the commercial and other projects of the Catalytic Fund.

UpTech is a start-up business accelerator formed in 2012 to leverage the talent and knowledge generated by Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. GCF provided $45,000 in start-up funding for operating expenses, and recently approved a $200,000 equity investment.

Life Learning Center
Life Learning Center

Life Learning Center will soon have a new home to provide comprehensive life skills training and employment support in the formerly vacant and blighted Stewart Iron Works building adjacent to the Center for Great Neighborhoods. The Catalytic Fund has provided critical development services to get this project done. GCF provided grants to plan and develop this new community resource.

Progress in these neighborhoods and the ways it is funded are ground-breaking (pun intended) and are being noticed around the country. In fact, LISC chose Cincinnati for its recent national board meeting because we have so many great projects going in our region.

GCF is proud to have the flexible charitable capital and patience to make investments in long-term change, even when the results may not be immediate.

Covington Organizations Summary of Investments

Which brings us back to our donors. We are able to make investments like this using endowed funds entrusted to GCF by generations of donors who care about our community, but have no way to predict what its needs will be in the future. If not for these donors’ generosity, we would not have the resources to support community change that really matters.

Kathy Merchant is President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Learn more about her here.

Images via GCF/Catalytic Fund