While no man can know what the future holds, he can be sure to plan for it with a charitable gift through the Greater Polson Community Foundation (GPCF), an affiliate of the Montana Community Foundation (MCF).

On Nov. 14, Cathy Cooney, MCF Program Director, visited with Polson investors and financial advisers about the potential for tax savings through philanthropy. Specifically, Cooney discussed the ins and outs of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit, which allows donors to pay less in Montana state income taxes when they give a qualifying planned gift to a qualified Montana charitable endowment.


Penny Jarecki, GPCF President, introduces Cathy Cooney, of the Montana Community Foundation, at the Tax Savings Through Philanthropy luncheon on Nov. 14.

The incentive is 40 percent of the gift’s federal charitable deduction, up to a maximum $10,000 tax credit, per year, per individual, and a credit of 20 percent of a direct gift by a qualified business, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year.

In order to continue growing local communities, local communities must preserve their wealth. In Lake County, 16-20 percent of the population is 65 years or older. That aging population will drive transfer of wealth opportunities in the future.

“In the next decade, the Montana Transfer of Wealth study indicates there will be $12 billion transferred to the next generation,” Cooney said. “Only 8 percent of Montanans have provisions for charitable wealth in their wills. Community foundations are a cheaper, simpler alternative to a private foundation and they’re a trustworthy vehicle for creating a permanent legacy.”

Cooney touts community foundations for their professional staff support, local leadership and familiarity with charitable opportunities in the towns they champion.

“The board is here to make sure that philanthropic assets are used well to really make a difference in the community,” she said.

The Endowment Tax Credit is only one piece of a large and ever-expanding menu of investment opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. Donor advised funds, gift annuities and charitable trusts all contribute to a community’s wealth, which can empower a community, and provide a permanent source of revenue to support ever-changing needs.

Learn more about planned giving by visiting www.mtcf.org/planned.html. Email the Greater Polson Community Foundation at [email protected]. Or, call the MCF, the GPCF or your financial advisor to learn about leaving a legacy in your community.