Several ways to benefit Yuma Veterans Fund
The Yuma Sun is taking a look at the Yuma Veterans Fund this week, which will provide grants to help Yuma organizations assist veterans. This story is the last in a series titled Veterans In Need. To donate, visit www.AZFoundation.org/YumaVeterans, or call 539-5343.
There are many ways residents can contribute to the newly created Yuma Veterans Fund, which will provide a permanent source of funding dedicated to the needs of military veterans in Yuma County.
“Gifts to the Yuma Community Foundation for the Yuma Veterans Fund come in all shapes and sizes,” said Judy Gresser, Western Region manager for the Arizona Community Foundation, which manages the fund.
“Cash, securities, closely held stock, business interests and real estate are all assets that can be used to support the Yuma Veterans Fund.”
Anyone can contribute to the fund, Gresser noted, adding “every two dollars donated is matched by another dollar thanks to two generous $10,000 challenge gifts; one from an anonymous donor — a veteran — and another from Southwest Gas Corporation.”
And donations can be made in honor of someone currently serving in the military, or a veteran, which is an appropriate way to thank them for their service, Gresser said.
The “vast majority” of planned gifts given to YCF for various funds are the results of bequests given in accordance to the will of a deceased person, Gresser said, noting that would be an appropriate way to donate to the Veterans Fund while at the same time possibly reducing estate taxes.
“Such gifts may enable you to make a significant contribution to the Yuma Veterans Fund that may not have been possible during your lifetime.”
Those who choose this route can give a specific dollar amount, or a percentage of their estate.
“You may also give a remainder of your estate after bequests to friends and family,” Gresser said.
“When planning a bequest to the Yuma Community Foundation for the Yuma Veterans Fund, be sure to talk with a member of our professionals staff, who will help make sure that your wishes are clearly understood in the present so they can be carefully carried out in the future.”
All donations are tax-deductible, but retirement plan assets are some of the most tax-efficient assets to transfer to charity upon death, Gresser said.
“Double taxation can erode the value of retirement assets. In some cases, the combination of taxes can reach as high as 80 percent, leaving very little remaining for your heirs. By leaving retirement assets to the Yuma Community Foundation for the Yuma Veterans Fund, you can avoid income taxes and reduce estate taxes — and preserve your hard-earned assets for the good of the Yuma Veterans Fund.”
Money can also be donated to the fund through charitable gift annuities, which can be established for $25,000 or more at the Arizona Community Foundation.
“Charitable gift annuities offer two key benefits; simplicity and a reliable income for those who wish to donate to the Yuma Veterans Fund,” Gresser said. “When you establish a gift annuity with the community foundation, you and/or someone you designate receives a life income in exchange for your charitable gift. The annuity rate depends on your age. The older you are, the higher the rate. Currently, the rate is better than offered by most CDs.”
Younger donors may want to donate through a deferred gift annuity, which “allows you to make a gift now and receive payments later in life,” Gresser said.
“This type of gift is attractive to younger donors to the Yuma Veterans Fund who are planning for retirement. You will receive a higher rate and a lifetime income, based on when you want to start receiving payments. If you need a current tax deduction and want to augment retirement income on a tax-sheltered basis, a deferred gift annuity is an excellent option.”
Another way to contribute is by donating real estate property, including vacant lots, homes, businesses or farmland.
“Because each gift of real estate is unique, a Yuma Community Foundation staff member would be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and details of making such a gift,” Gresser said, noting residents can remain in their homes or use their farmland after the donation.
“A gift of a remainder interest in a personal residence or farm allows you to continue to occupy the residence or operate the farm without disruption. You get an income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the remainder interest.”
Donations can also include life insurance policies.
“Giving a life insurance policy is an inexpensive way to make a substantial contribution,” Gresser said. “Many people find in later years that they don't need all the insurance they did when they were younger, or they may choose to purchase a new policy to donate to leverage their gift.”
No matter how people choose to donate to the fund, it is important they do so, Gresser said.
“Our Yuma County veterans are returning home with serious wounds, some of which cannot be seen but are just as devastating as those that are obvious. There is so much tremendous need that financial resources to assist are stretched to breaking.”
Often, “veterans who return in good physical shape simply cannot find a job,” she continued. “The issues facing these men and women are legion. There are veterans organizations, great ones, but there is simply not enough money available to address needs. Yuma cares, though, and our community clearly wants to help.”
To donate to the fund, send a check to the Yuma Community Foundation. On the memo line of the check, write “Yuma Veterans Fund.” The checks can be mailed to the Yuma Community Foundation, P.O. Box 6835, Yuma, AZ 85366.
Those who wish to donate can also do so online at www.AZFoundation.org/YumaVeterans.
For more information, call 539-5343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.