Anyone can be a philanthropist

To the Editor:

As the Development Director for the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation, I am writing to thank each person who has supported the important work of our local nonprofits throughout Hamilton County this year by giving generously of your time, talent, and treasure. It is because of you that each of these organizations and programs is able to continue serving our communities and making lives better.

Each year, the vast majority of American families give to charity in some form – be it offerings to a place of worship; contributions to their library; or support for any of the countless organizations and programs that work to better our communities. And yet many of us don’t think of ourselves as philanthropists – that’s a label too often reserved for the Rockefellers of the world. The truth is anyone can be a philanthropist and, in one way or another, most of us are.

As we begin to enter into the holiday season, I encourage each of you to consider making a gift that will permanently benefit your favorite charitable cause through an endowment at the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation.

Endowments are not only for those who can give substantially, but also for those whose gifts must necessarily be small. Gifts of any size can be made to an existing endowment. You can create an endowed fund in your own name (or in honor or memory of someone else), and you can also include a charitable gift to an endowment in your will.

Each of these gifts would still be supporting the programs you believe in a hundred years from now, and on into perpetuity. I can think of no better way to give back to the communities throughout Hamilton County this holiday season.

Because the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, you can receive the maximum tax benefit for your gift. In addition to the federal charitable deduction, your gift to an endowed fund may be eligible for the 25 percent Endow Iowa Tax Credit. It isn’t too late to receive this credit for 2013, and I encourage each of you to check with your trusted advisors and then make a difference by giving to your favorite charity or cause in Hamilton County.

Again, my heartfelt thanks goes out to each philanthropist within Hamilton County, including those who don’t give themselves that name. Our communities are a better place because of the generosity and kindness of people like you.

Darcy Swon

Development Director

Enhance Hamilton

County Foundation