Welcome to Inspire, the Bimonthly Newsletter from Your Friends at the NoCo Foundation

Dear friends and neighbors,

One of the best parts of leading a community foundation is meeting the amazing donors, volunteers, nonprofits, and professional advisors who are creating impact every day in Northern Colorado.

When our staff recently decided to rework our bimonthly newsletter, we immediately decided to name it Inspire so that when it is in your inbox every other month, you will want to jump in and be inspired by the ideas, impact, and solutions happening in Northern Colorado.

Our region is being shaped daily by the actions and intentions of people like you. And it is inspiring to watch and partner with you on impactful activities such as the donors who are spearheading a housing stability fund within the NoCo Foundation, or how we are matching dollar for dollar, nonprofit capacity building for growing nonprofit organizations, or how we are convening dozens of water utility providers and rolling up our sleeves to partner around our most precious natural resource.

Take a peek inside. Get inspired by the stories, information, and events that are filling our community with ideas, impact, and solutions.

Thank you for checking it out,

Kristin Todd

President & CEO, NoCo Foundation

Celebration of Philanthropy – Registration Now Open!

Join us for the Celebration of Philanthropy on May 9th and spend the evening with Northern Colorado philanthropists, business leaders, community leaders, and local nonprofits! The evening consists of beverages, a light dinner, networking, inspirational awards, and NoCo Foundation updates. Tickets are available now – register here!

The Kirsten L. Tool Scholarship – Honoring Memories and Inspiring Success

Many kids grow up wanting to make their own path in this world, but there are some who want to follow in their family’s footsteps — Second Lieutenant Kirsten Tool fell into the latter of the two groups.

Her grandfather, Jean Tool, was a Major in the Army Air Corps and flew cargo over the Himalayan Mountains in WWII. Her dad, Stephen Tool, was a Captain in the Air Force, serving as a B-52 navigator in Vietnam. Kirsten loved the idea of honoring this family legacy with her own service, which led her to join the Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Colorado State University.

“She loved everything about the ROTC. She found herself there,” says Jennifer Holladay, Kirsten’s younger sister.

Kirsten was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at CSU’s Detachment 90 in 1987. In 1989, she was serving as an Intelligence Officer at Lindsey Air Station in Wiesbaden, West Germany, when she tragically lost her life in an automobile accident.

Her family knew just how to honor her memory. The Kirsten L. Tool Scholarship was established soon after her death at the NoCo Foundation and was generously supported by numerous small to medium-sized donations. This scholarship is representative of who Kirsten was as a person — dedicated to America and the military — and allows for other ROTC cadets to follow in her footsteps.

Steve Tool, Kirsten’s father, with a photo of Kirsten L. Tool

The scholarship is exclusively awarded to a cadet in the AFROTC Detachment 90 at Colorado State University or the University of Northern Colorado, who is a current sophomore or junior and will be a junior or senior in the fall of next year, and must excel in military and academic pursuits. The scholarship is a testament to her memory and the enduring impact of her character and dedication.

“We wanted to help cadets choose to serve and are proud of how much we’ve been able to give. It is exactly the way she would have chosen to be honored herself,” says Jennifer.

For young cadets in the ROTC, receiving this scholarship is an honor and can provide the financial assistance that students need.

“This award was an amazing honor to have been selected for. Kristen L. Tool was a woman of high character, and to have been chosen as the 2023 recipient of a scholarship in her name is a gift. The financial aid from this scholarship has provided many opportunities for me to succeed within the past year academically,” says Sydney Strejc, C/1st Lt, AFROTC.

Sydney hopes to be selected as a Combat Systems Officer for the Air Force in the upcoming Rated Boards and then go to Pensacola, FL for training and to fly on the F-15E.

Captain Nathan Gruenhaupt was awarded the scholarship in 2016 and received more than just financial aid, he also built a bond with Kirsten’s family that would last for years.

“Being chosen to receive the scholarship showed a lot of kindness from the Tool family. The fact that they thought I was a worthy recipient meant a lot because they chose someone Kirsten would have chosen. One of the best parts coming out of the scholarship was the relationship I formed with the Tool family,” says Nathan, Captain USAF C17 Instructor Pilot.

Scholarships like this are a great way for families and communities to honor a loved one in a way they would have wanted to be honored. They also allow aspiring students to work toward their dreams and succeed in their future. The NoCo Foundation is proud to offer scholarship programming for donors and provide impact across generations. Contact scholarships@nocofoundation.org to learn more.

Professional Advisor Connections: Gearing Up for Tax Time

It’s almost tax season, which means that many accountants, attorneys, and financial advisors are gearing up for a period of high-touch interaction with their clients.

The team at the NoCo Foundation is your resource for philanthropy – from tax deductibility, advantages of non-cash gifts, and advising on complex charitable giving options.

Below are our updates to help you advise your clients’ charitable giving through 2024:

1. Top 3 tax-time charitable giving questions: Charitable advising during the tax season.
2. Tax law twists and turns: Five developments impacting charitable giving.

We appreciate your partnership. Thank you for the role you play in promoting local philanthropy.

The NoCo Foundation

FAQs: A Snapshot of Tax-Time Charitable Giving Questions

It’s time to start gathering tax documents and related paperwork for 2023 tax returns and 2024 planning. Now is a great time to review a few basic tax principles related to charitable giving. Here are three questions that are top of mind for many advisors, along with answers that might help you serve your clients.

1. How important is it to high net-worth clients to get a tax deduction for gifts to charity?

Among clients who own investments of $5 million or more, 91% reported charitable giving as a component of their estate and financial plans. In another study, most affluent investors cited reasons for giving beyond the benefit of a tax deduction and would not automatically reduce their giving if the charitable income tax deduction went away. This means it’s important to be aware of your clients’ non-tax motivations for giving, such as personal experiences, compassion for particular causes, family traditions, and involvement with specific charitable organizations. This also means it’s critical to talk about charitable giving with all your clients because it’s likely something they consider important.

2. Why do clients so often default to giving cash?

Many clients simply are not aware of the tax benefits of giving highly-appreciated assets to their donor-advised or other type of fund. Those who are aware, but in a hurry, end up writing checks or making donations with their credit cards. It’s essential for advisors to remind clients about the benefits of donating non-cash assets such as highly-appreciated stock, or even complex assets (e.g., closely-held business interests and real estate). When clients give highly-appreciated assets in lieu of cash, they often can significantly reduce capital gains tax exposure, and they can calculate the deduction based on the full fair market value of the gifted assets.

3. What are the basic deductibility rules for gifts to charities?

It’s important to know that the deductibility rules are different for your clients’ gifts to a public charity (such as a fund at The NoCo Foundation) on the one hand, and their gifts to a private foundation on the other hand. Clients’ gifts to public charities are deductible up to 50% of AGI, versus 30% for gifts to private foundations. In addition, gifts to public charities of non-marketable assets such as real estate and closely-held stock typically are deductible at fair market value, while the same assets given to a private foundation are deductible at the client’s cost basis. This difference can be enormous in terms of dollars, so make sure you let your clients know about this if they are planning major gifts to charities.

So, what’s the first step? Reach out to the team at The NoCo Foundation! We really mean it. Make it a habit to mention charitable giving to your clients. From that moment on, whatever the clients’ charitable priorities, consider our team to be your behind-the-scenes back office and support department to handle all of your clients’ charitable giving needs.

Tax Law Twists and Turns: Five Developments Impacting Charitable Giving

We know charitable giving topics may not always be at the top of your reading list. That’s why we’re here! Here’s a recap of five recent developments worth keeping an eye on in 2024.

1. NIL Collectives

The IRS has had a lot to say lately about NIL collectives. In addition to offering insights for athlete recipients of NIL (name, image, and likeness) dollars, the IRS has also issued guidance pertaining to organizations that help develop NIL opportunities for athletes, suggesting that the activities of these entities, known as “collectives,” may not qualify as “charitable.” This development could be problematic for your clients who believe that their contributions to NIL collectives will qualify for a charitable tax deduction.

2. Donations of Cryptocurrency

It’s still a thing! At least a few of your clients are likely still invested in cryptocurrency, despite the whirlwind in that industry over the last year or so. You should know that in early 2023, the IRS published guidance confirming that a taxpayer cannot take a charitable deduction for a gift of cryptocurrency over $5,000 without submitting a qualified appraisal. Cryptocurrency, in the eyes of the IRS, is treated as property, not cash. And it is not a security, either. Note that the IRS also said that a price quotation from a cryptocurrency exchange (such as FTX!!) doesn’t count; a qualified appraisal is still required.

3. Charitable Act

Senate Bill 566, which is still pending, was introduced in early 2023 to address what is sometimes called the “universal charitable deduction,” meaning that even taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions would be able to claim a charitable deduction, potentially in an amount up to one-third of the taxpayer’s standard deduction. Keep an eye on this; the bill enjoys broad support and, if it becomes law, could be a real perk for both your clients and the charities they care about.

4. Exempt Purpose

It seems that at least once a year, the IRS issues guidance on what it means for an organization to be organized for an exempt purpose under Section 501(c)(3). In Private Letter Ruling 202349014, we are once again reminded that personal activities that have no direct public benefit simply will not be viewed by the IRS as exempt. While private letter rulings are, of course, not binding, they are nevertheless useful tools to provide to a client to show specific examples of what the IRS considers to be non-exempt. Estate planning attorneys and CPAs tell us that every few months, a client comes to them with an idea for starting a nonprofit, and it’s easier to tell a cautionary tale than it is to recite Internal Revenue Code sections!

5. Proposed Regulations

Proposed regulations issued by the IRS are not binding, and often they are revised – or even shelved or canceled entirely – before they go into effect. Still, the team at the NoCo Foundation is always keeping an eye out for these and other forms of IRS rulemaking that could potentially affect your work with your charitable clients. A recent example of this type of IRS activity is a set of proposed regulations concerning donor-advised funds, issued in November 2023. The public comment period ended in mid-January 2024, and then the IRS will take time to review the comments, so we won’t know anything definitive for quite some time. For those who are interested, we like the detail provided in this podcast series on the topic. You can take a long winter walk and learn everything you want to know about what’s being proposed! And of course, you’ll hear from us when (and if) the proposed regulations ever go into effect and what to do about it.

Nonprofit Agency Funds 101 Webinar: See What You Missed

On March 20, we held a Nonprofit Agency Funds 101 webinar to review agency fund basics, answer frequently asked questions, and highlight how the NoCo Foundation can support nonprofits. Did you miss it? No worries. You can watch the recording.

This on-demand informative session provides information about nonprofit agency funds to those new to your organization, new board members, or anyone who needs a refresher! If you missed the webinar or would simply like to know more about nonprofit agency funds and how we can support you, find it all here!

Northern Colorado Intersections: Pursuing Community Well-Being. February 6th Launch Recap

Have you noticed that Northern Colorado is growing at a rapid pace? Are you curious about the common challenges we face as a region?

On Tuesday, February 6th, 350 regional leaders attended the launch of the Northern Colorado Intersections: Pursuing Regional Well-BeingIt was a morning of fascinating panels and audience participation as we discussed some of our region’s most pressing challenges.

If you missed the event, please watch the recording and hear more from the regional mayors panel and sector leaders panel, as they discuss their take on the challenges and opportunities we face every day in our special region.

Mayoral Conversation, facilitated by Ken Amundson, BizWest

Jeni Arndt, Fort Collins
John Gates, Greeley
Paul Rennemeyer, Windsor
Jacki Marsh, Loveland

Sector Leader Panel, facilitated by Erin O’Toole, KUNC

Education: Andy Feinstein, UNC President
Business: Jay Dokter, Founder of The Forge and Warehouse Accelerator
Government: Raymond Lee, Greeley City Manager
Nonprofit: Tracy Mead, Executive Director of Project Self Sufficiency and the Nonprofit Sector Partnership

Representing a year’s worth of research, discussions, and engagement, this inaugural report is a true community project. In the report, you’ll find a wide range of key data coupled with personal testimonials that identify what our region is doing well and where we are feeling the pressures of growth most acutely.

At the NoCo Foundation, we believe the power of regional collaboration and community engagement are essential ingredients to building and implementing a collective strategy that will create well-being for all. We hope you’ll join us in making a difference.

Want to get involved? Share your intersection experience or request a presentation by our engagement team at nocointersections.org or email us at intersections@nocofoundation.org.

Upcoming Events

REGISTER TODAY! Celebration of Philanthropy – May 9, 2024