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Community Foundation Awards $666,040 in Scholarships to NCW Students

Scholarship award disbursements have grown an average 35% per year. The 2019 total award amount is the largest the foundation has disbursed to date.

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded 307 scholarships to 200 students across North Central Washington, totaling $666,040 – a record disbursement for the foundation.

The Community Foundation manages over 100 scholarships established by individuals, families, and businesses who feel passionate about making higher education more accessible for local students. Each scholarship is unique, as the criteria is set by the donor.

“These scholarships support such a diverse range of students” said Julie Mott, scholarship program specialist. “Some focus on area of study while others seek to help the students who have overcome obstacles. There are opportunities for nearly every student.”

Most scholarships aim to support students with the greatest financial need and help ease the financial burden many students face as they work toward their dreams of higher education. One scholarship awardee attending Wenatchee Valley College this year wrote “I’m the first in my family to go to college and because of my parent’s financial status, I will have to pay for it all on my own. This scholarship will help lower the debt I will come out with after college”.

This year, over 3,000 applications were received and reviewed by Scholarships Committees that are comprised of over 250 volunteers across the region. The committees recommend finalists for the awards, which are reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees.

“We could not do this work without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers” said Mott. “They have the difficult task of selecting the right candidate for each award, in the spirit of what the donor intended. We cannot thank them enough for their efforts.”

Since 2003, over $5 million in scholarships from the foundation have been awarded, and annual award disbursements continue to grow each year (see graph). Contributing to this growth are new scholarship funds being established each year as well as the investment returns.

“With all endowed funds including scholarships, the foundation pools and invests them for long term growth” said Beth Stipe, executive director. “This means the foundation is able to continue disbursing these scholarships forever – and the awards grow over time. It’s a lasting investment in the youth of our region.”

The next opportunity to apply for scholarships is January 1, 2020.

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF 2019 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Tax Efficient Giving: IRAs and Qualified Charitable Distributions

By Scott Blaesing, CPA, CFP Principal Cascade Wealth Advisors Inc.

If you are age 70½ or older, IRS rules require you to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts. This additional taxable income may push you into a higher tax bracket and may also reduce your eligibility for certain tax credits and deductions. To eliminate or reduce the impact of RMD income, charitably inclined investors may want to consider making a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from an IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity, as described in the QCD provision in the Internal Revenue Code. Amounts distributed as a QCD can be counted toward satisfying your RMD for the year, up to $100,000, and can also be excluded from your taxable income. This is not the case with a regular withdrawal from an IRA, even if you use the money to make a charitable contribution later.

If you take the RMD as income, instead of as a QCD, your RMD will count as taxable income. Having higher taxable income can directly impact your eligibility for certain deductions and credits. For example, your taxable income helps determine the amount of your Social Security benefits that are subject to taxes. Keeping your taxable income level lower may also help reduce your potential exposure to higher ordinary and capital gains income tax brackets, net investment income tax and Medicare surtax.

In my semi-annual tax and financial planning meetings with clients, I frequently hear that a priority is to decrease their annual tax burden. The reality is that their fixed sources of income from Social Security, pensions, investments and IRA distributions require them to recognize more income than they need to cover retirement living expenses. It’s great to be in this position, but tax inefficient and you lose control over where and how your assets are being used. READ MORE…

© Community Foundation of NCW 2013 | 9 S Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee WA 98801
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Federal Tax ID: 91-1349486