Reflection-By: Mary Fasse-Shaw Development Associate Tama County Community Foundation
February 21, 2014
TAMA COUNTY – The New Year has come and the 10th of February was my seven month anniversary of being the Development Associate for the Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF). When I started this job in June I really didn’t know too much about the TCCF, the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, what an affiliate was, different types of funds, or the ways to give. I have learned much in the last seven months, and I know that I have a great deal more to learn. I am getting to know the people who are on the governing committee and subcommittee, and hopefully I am creating a relationship with them. I have really enjoyed traveling to the cities in Tama County and meeting new people. I am continually amazed at what a small world it is. So many people have ties to folks that I know in the southern part of the county. It truly is “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”, or separation, if one isn’t familiar with the Kevin Bacon reference. In typical Iowa fashion, people have been friendly and willing to listen to information about the Foundation. Some people have been very aware of what the Foundation is and what it has done for the county. Some people had heard the name, but weren’t really sure what the Foundation was all about, and others had never heard about the Foundation, so I have shared information with them. As I have traveled the county and visited the cities, I am cognizant of the community pride in each of the cities and the love that people have for their communities. I am aware that each community is unique, and I am excited to learn more of the nuances that make them so. Yes, I have much more to learn about this job and that is just part of the adventure that awaits me. I also look forward to meeting new people as part of this journey. I will tell you what I do believe; I proudly call Tama-Toledo, the STC Schools, and Tama County my home after coming here to teach 37 years ago. I believe that the people of Tama County are the epitome of what it means to be Iowans. I believe that Iowans, and in particular, Tama Countians, will literally give a person “the shirts of their backs and the sweat from their brows” if they have nothing else to give. In Meredith Wilson’s musical The Music Man, the song “Iowa Stubborn,” aptly describes Iowans in a comical manner. In part “…We can stand touchin’ noses for a week at a time and never see eye to eye. But we’ll give you our shirt and a back to go with it if your crops should happen to die…” Yes, we can be Iowa stubborn, but that stubbornness usually gets positive results. I also believe that we have some of the best people in Iowa living in Tama County. I want to leave you with some information about how a person can make a difference with the Foundation through giving. If you have any questions or need information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope to meet many of you throughout this coming year. Scholarship Funds: By creating a permanent scholarship endowment fund with the Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF), an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, you can invest in your community’s future and demonstrate your commitment to education. A scholarship fund through the TCCF could target any particular school district in the county, or it might be more general in nature. For example, a donor who has been a supporter of 4-H could establish a fund to annually benefit an Tama County 4-H member, no matter what school district he or she attends. Creating a scholarship endowment fund through the TCCF is a simple process: •You make a gift to the TCCF (cash, appreciated securities, real estate, grain, or other assets); •TCCF establishes a scholarship fund in your name, in the name of your family or business, or in honor of any person or organization you choose; •Your gift will be placed in a permanent endowment that is invested over time; •You receive significant tax benefits in the year your gift is made; •TCCF handles all administrative details and awards scholarships to deserving students in the name of the fund you establish; •And, you receive updates on the impact your gift is making, as well as recognition as a donor to the TCCF. Field of Interest Fund: These endowment funds help you target your giving to address specific areas of need in your community, such as art and culture, senior care, education, or the needs of at-risk youth. Gifts to establish these funds in the TCCF have a bit broader scope, while still permitting the donor to focus giving on strong personal interests. Donor or Corporate Advised Funds: These funds allow you to make a gift to the TCCF and then remain actively involved in recommending grants from your fund each year. You receive maximum tax benefits for each new gift. Grant awards are issued to charities in the name of the fund or anonymously, if you prefer. Designated Funds: With these funds you can support the good work of one or more specific nonprofit organizations. If, for any reason, the organization you select ceases to exist or changes its mission, the fund can be redirected so that it continues to address your original charitable intent. One of the particular reasons one may wish to consider the TCCF is the Endow Iowa tax credit. Through this program, donors to the TCCF are eligible to receive a 25% state tax credit in addition to normal federal deductions for charitable gifts. This tax credit is only available to donors who establish or contribute to a permanent endowment fund at a qualified community foundation, like the Tama County Community Foundation. The TCCF is a wonderful and deeply meaningful way to impact your community for generations to come. The TCCF has been created by and for the people of Tama County. The Foundation’s primary goals are to support charitable projects and programs, to attract additional funds, and to assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within Tama County. For more information about the TCCF, contact Brian Sokol, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation, 641-484-2980, or Mary Fasse-Shaw, TCCF’s Development Associate at 641-751-5251.
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