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From the National Committee on Planned Giving website: In August, H.R. 4, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 became law. This bill contains a two-year IRA Charitable Rollover provision that will allow people age 70 1/2 or older to exclude up to $100,000 from their gross income for a taxable year for cash gifts directly to a qualified charity. The bill also contains several other charitable provisions. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) provides a detailed explanation of the bill’s charity provisions. What will its implications be for fundraising at local historical organizations in Minnesota? As the baby boomers age, fundraising that targets seniors may rise. Have you seen any examples of this at your organization?

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3 Responses to Pension Protection Act of 2006

  1. Claudia Nicholson says:

    I haven’t seen any specific examples of the benefits of this law yet, but you can be sure that I will let my members know of it, especially as we send out our end-of-year appeal. You never know when someone may decide to be extra-generous!



  2. Mary Warner says:

    The legislation is a mixed bag as far as museums are concerned. There are other parts of the legislation that affect us, in addition to the IRA rollover. One is the stipulation that people who make charitable donations of less than $250 must receive a written statement from the nonprofit that states such gift was received (or they have to have a vaild bank record of the donation). We do this for donations of $5 and over already, so this is not an issue for us.

    The other provision that will affect museums is that the Pension Act disallows write-offs for "junk," meaning that anything not in good condition when it’s donated cannot be used as a deduction. This part of the act is supposed to cut down on the amount of unusable stuff given to places like the Salvation Army and Epilepsy Foundation. However, much of what we get at the museum might legally fall within this definition. We look at items for historical value, not monetary value. There is an exception made for items that aren’t in particularly good condition, but are appraised at over $500. I’m not sure how many people currently write-off the value of the artifacts they donate to the museum, but how many items do you receive that are valued at over $500 and how does this penalize our donors? I think this portion of the law was written without thought as to what effect it would have on museums.


  3. David Grabitske says:

    As a follow up, you might want to read "How to Give to the Little Guys" in Time Magazine (link is at the bottom). The article is aimed more at potential donors looking to give than toward small nonprofits trying to figure out how to let everyone know they would benefit from financial help. What’s telling seems to be that over half the one million nonprofits in the United States have annual expenditures of $25,000 or less. Of those that returned the 2006 MHS Survey of County and Local Historical Societies, 101 of 180 (or 56 percent) had annual expenditures under $25,000. The need is there, and perhaps a little higher among local history organizations. So, how can we in the history community let potential donors know of both our quality and need?



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