For the past three years, the Beckley Area Foundation has set aside a portion of its allocation of Neighborhood Investment Program WV state tax credits to reward donors who made donations to the Foundation’s special initiative called “Feeding Our Friends.” The program has become so popular that despite an increase in the number of credits BAF set aside for this purpose, all of the allocated tax credits were spoken for prior to the 2016 Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
Donors were permitted to select the recipient feeding program for their donation from a list of those serving Raleigh County, each organization having been vetted by the Foundation. In January, 2017, BAF sent checks of $1,257 to the Salvation Army; $6,357 to Helping Hands Resource Center; $257 to Heart of God Food Ministries; $3,857 to the Carpenter’s Corner; $257 to Fishes and Loaves; $1,257 to Bread of Life; and $1,758 to The Shepherd’s Table for a total of $15,000 donated to area food providers.
Traditionally, many grants awarded through the Foundation’s annual Community Grant Program have covered the costs of durable goods that can be used over a multi-year period by local non-profit charitable organizations. However, BAF recognizes that the greatest need of area food banks is obtaining funds to purchase food. They also need the latitude to make purchases that fill in important gaps within food groups supplied from other sources. Their supplies may lack such items as fresh vegetables and fruit.
It is also obvious that current economic conditions within our service area have significantly increased the numbers of people being served by organizations supplying meals and non-perishable food items to those in need.
Following the guidelines of the WV State Development Office, the Beckley Area Foundation was able to award a state tax credit voucher in the amount of one half of the donors’ gifts to the BAF “Feeding Our Friends” initiative. The state requires that the donation be $500 or more. Individuals who contributed $500 received a voucher that will reduce their state taxes by $250; those who donated $1,000 received a voucher for $500. These vouchers can be used to reduce WV personal income tax, corporate net income tax or business franchise tax. The entire amount of the gift can be used as a charitable deduction on federal tax returns.
“The Board of Directors set aside $7,500 in WV state tax credits for this program,” commented Dena Cushman, the Foundation’s CFO. “It is important to realize that only a limited number of tax credits were allocated to BAF through a competitive application process. We had a finite number of credits which could be used for this pass-through donation program and a finite number to build permanent charitable endowments.”
“The Foundation will apply to participate in the 2017-2018 round of NIP, and we hope to be able to again offer this popular opportunity supporting area food providers during the fall of 2017.”
Contact the Beckley Area Foundation for further information by calling 304-253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Virginia’s 10th Annual Spirit of Philanthropy Critical Impact Award Goes to theBeckley Area Foundation