Genesee Community College

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Frequently Asked Questions


Are my contributions to the Genesee Community College Foundation tax-deductible?

Yes. Contributions to the Foundation are deductible to the full extent allowed under federal and state law.

Why does Genesee Community College need my help?

The mission of the Foundation is to raise the level of instruction in the classroom by attracting excellent students; to provide access to higher education by worthy and deserving students who demonstrate financial need; to encourage students from our region to remain in the local workforce; and to promote community involvement in the life of the College.

The College provides the basics (and more) through its operating budget. But the Foundation's far-reaching goals only come about through the passionate volunteer and financial support of civic and business leaders, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends of the College.

What is the Foundation's relationship to the College?

The Foundation is the official fund raising and gift-receiving agency for Genesee Community College. Community, business, and civic volunteers from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties comprise the Foundation's Board of Directors. The Board governs the Foundation and sets its policies. The Foundation, established in 1985, is a not-for-profit corporation.

Does the Foundation accept memorial gifts?

Yes. We frequently receive memorial gifts from family and friends of people associated with the College. A gift receipt is sent to the donor, and the deceased's family is sent an acknowledgment of the gift.

My employer matches charitable gifts. How can I make a gift to the Genesee Community College Foundation and have it matched?

If your employer (or your spouse's employer) offers a matching gift program, your gift to the Foundation can be doubled or even tripled. Obtain a matching gift form from your human resources office, complete your section, and mail it to the Foundation with your gift. We'll complete the remainder of the form and obtain the matching gift.

What is the difference between a "designated" and a "non-designated" gift?

Non-designated (or unrestricted) gifts satisfy scholarship and other program needs of the College as determined by the Board of Directors. However, many donors wish to direct their gifts toward a particular need, such as supporting students from a particular community or in a specific field of study. These designated (or restricted) gifts are used only for the purposes directed by donors.

How complicated is it to set up a designated fund?

It's quite easy. A Foundation staff member will ask you some basic questions about the fund - its name, purpose, criteria for making grants from the fund, and how and when it will be established - and then prepare a one- or two-page letter of agreement for you to review and sign.

What is the ratio of Foundation fund raising expenses to total contributions?

Last year, we received total contributions of $1,076,498. Direct fund raising expenses totaled $106,642 or 9.9% of total contributions.

What is Genesee Community College Foundation Housing Services?

Genesee Community College Foundation Housing Services, Inc. is an affiliate not-for-profit corporation set up to hold and manage real estate on behalf of the Foundation and the College. This corporation holds title to College Village, a student residence acquired in August, 2001.

I am thinking about establishing a bequest to the Foundation in my will. What is the legal title of the Foundation?

The legal title is The Genesee Community College Foundation, Inc. Your attorney can provide the specific language necessary to establish a bequest under your will. We can also help you or your attorney with the wording; this is especially important if you plan to direct your bequest to a specific designated (restricted) fund, or to establish a new fund under your bequest. In any event, we encourage you to share your final will provision with us to ensure that your wishes will be properly followed and recognized.

Are there different kinds of bequests?

Yes. Under a fixed-amount bequest, you leave a specified sum of money in your estate (for example, $20,000) to the Foundation. Under a percentage bequest, you leave a specified ratio of your estate (for example, 10% of your estate) to the Foundation. Under a remainder bequest, you leave to the Foundation whatever portion of your estate is not allocated to other beneficiaries.

You can make bequests to the general (unrestricted) fund, or to a special fund that you establish during your lifetime or through your bequest.

What is an endowment fund?

An endowment fund consists of assets that are held in perpetuity - literally, forever - and only the income, or a portion of the income, from the fund is spent. Endowment funds are often created by donors who wish to insure long-term support of a favorite cause or program. You can establish an endowment fund during your lifetime, or through a bequest.

Does the Genesee Community College Foundation have a "general purpose" endowment fund?

Yes. The Michael J. Ryan Fund for the Future is an endowment fund that exists for the general support of Foundation programs. Investment earnings from this fund can be spent for any purpose authorized by the Board of Directors.

What are the advantages of making a gift of appreciated stock?

By making a gift of stock that has appreciated (or increased) in value, you avoid paying capital gains tax (usually 15% of the appreciation on securities you have held longer than a year). You also receive a tax deduction for the full market value of the stock.

For example, let's say you originally bought stock in ABC Corp. for $4,000. Now it's worth $10,000. If you sold the stock yourself, you'd probably pay $900 in capital gains taxes (15% of the $6,000 appreciation). If you donate the stock, you pay no capital gains tax - and you receive a $10,000 tax deduction. To calculate what the deduction is worth in actual tax savings, multiply the $10,000 by the tax rate you're paying on your adjusted gross income. For example, if you're in the 31% bracket, your savings would be $3,100.

Are there advantages to donating stock that has depreciated, or declined, in value?

Usually the best thing to do here is sell the stock yourself and donate the proceeds. The result is that you'll generate a capital loss, and you can apply this against any capital gains you have earned from the sale of appreciated stock.

I've heard that it's possible to make a gift of highly appreciated stock AND receive income for life. Is this true?

In many cases, yes. You're probably thinking of a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust. What happens here is that your gift of stock funds the annuity or trust, which in turn provides you with income for life or for some other fixed period. (These vehicles can only provide income for someone else, such as spouse who survives you.). You also receive a tax deduction for part of the gift, based on IRS actuarial tables; generally, the older you are when you set up the annuity or trust, the larger your deduction will be.

In some instances - for example, when the appreciation on the stock is very significant or when you're setting up an annuity or trust at a relatively young age - it might pay to purchase wealth replacement insurance, possibly from a portion of the annuity or trust income you receive. This insurance makes it possible to replace some or all of the assets you donated after you die, giving you the opportunity to make a wonderful charitable gift and leave substantial assets to your heirs.

How does the Foundation make grants?

Each year, the College requests Foundation support for various scholarship programs and other initiatives. The Foundation carefully reviews the request in light of available resources. Three Foundation committees are involved here: the Stewardship Committee considers the request in light of the College's and Foundation's priorities; the Finance Committee examines the availability of funds and the fiscal implications of the grant; and the Campaign and Fund Development Committee determines whether it's possible to raise the funds necessary to meet upcoming grant obligations. The Board of Directors makes final grant allocations each spring.

Is the Foundation contemplating any new programs in the near future?

The Foundation hopes to embark on several initiatives in the near future. These include:

  • Additional support for programs that involve the community in the life of the College, such as the arts and athletics.
  • Support and seed funding for alumni outreach and programming.
  • More scholarship support in programs critical to the well-being of the College and the wider community. For example, the region desperately needs more health care professionals. The Foundation may be able to help fill this need by providing financial support to students preparing to enter health care.
  • Partnerships with supporters who have deep commitments to particular academic programs or particular communities. We hope to work with these supporters to establish designated endowment funds. These funds will provide lasting support to important College programs, and meet the cherished goals of supporters as well.