Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are

December 11, 2019

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. Sounds like “The Little Drummer Boy” and “The Gift of the Magi,” doesn’t it?

This also describes Grundy County and our charitable spirit so so well. Give what you got – charities have gotten much better at accepting the assets of their donors – assets that go way beyond traditional cash.

Last week we finalized the process of accepting a gift of real estate – an office building in downtown Gardner that we will use as a satellite space where nonprofits and social service agencies can go provide their services closer to the residents in the southeast section of the county. We hope this is much more convenient for the residents than driving to Morris, Joliet, or Wilmington.

After New Year’s we will be able to announce the services, days, and times so please stay tuned. We also hope to grow it, so please bear with us and don’t be disappointed in the beginning!

Not every charity has the capacity to accept charitable gifts other than cash, which is where we come in. The Community Foundation of Grundy County stewards donor-designed funds, which means that a donor can design a fund to benefit their favorite charities, even if the Foundation isn’t one of them.

Because we have the structure in place to accept gifts of stock, grain, farmland, and real estate, a donor can donate these assets to us to be deposited into their Donor Advised Fund, designated fund, scholarship, or field of interest fund. The differences between these types of funds can be found on our website:

This is also a message to Grundy area charities – rather than setting up your own capacity to accept gifts of real estate, farmland, and complex gifts of stock, use us. Let’s work with your donor to get the asset transferred here (before Dec. 31?) and then the cash will be available for your use as grants from the donor-designed fund. Yes, we charge an administrative fee on all donor funds here, but I believe it’s more economical and efficient than setting up your own system that might not get used often.

We do this every day – this is our specialty.

And if you want to really talk specialty, I can talk for hours about endowment! If you have a personal IRA, then you understand endowment. Transfer an asset now, take the charitable deduction now, and allow the asset to grow over time so that the charity of your choice receives a steady flow of annual income in the future.

It’s not too late to beat the tax year deadline of Dec. 3. We are closed Dec. 24-25, but we are open Dec. 31 until 2 p.m. It takes just minutes to create a Fund Establishing Document. You sign it, write a check, and you’ve beaten the deadline!

However, if you want to transfer stock or make a contribution from your IRA, call your administrator now to start the process – those items can take up to 2 weeks to settle.

This season of giving is a great time to do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. We hope you enjoy this season of giving among your family, friends, co-workers, charities, and community.

From our Board of Trustees, committee volunteers, and staff: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Give you, give legacy, Give Grundy!

  • Julianne Buck is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County

Copyright © 2020 Morris Herald-News. All rights reserved.