Giving to the Balloon Federation of America
From an Annual Fund gift to a bequest, there are many ways to make a gift to the Balloon Federation of America that best fits your individual circumstances. Some planned gifts can provide income for life to the beneficiary you name, and some allow you to unlock the income potential from a low-yielding asset. Most planned gifts receive favorable tax treatment, and all give you the satisfaction of investing in the Balloon Federation of America’s future.
Basic categories of gifts to the Balloon Federation of America
Cash gifts, the easiest way to give, offer a tax deduction for the full amount of the gift in the year it is made. We thank you in advance for sending your gift of cash or check, made payable to the Balloon Federation of America, to:
Balloon Federation of America
PO Box 400
Indianola Iowa 50125
Credit card gifts have become a quick and easy way to give. The Balloon Federation of America accepts American Express, VISA, MasterCard and Discover. If you would like to make a gift with your credit card, please call the office at 515-961-8809 or select from the choices at the top of this page.
You can double or triple the impact of your gift to the Balloon Federation of America. More than 15,000 companies sponsor matching gift programs to support education for employees and their families. Many companies will also match the contributions of their retired employees and spouses of employees.
Find out if your employer has a matching gift program.
Recurring Gift Program
A recurring gift is an ongoing, specific gift amount determined by a donor that is charged monthly to a donor's credit card. Your recurring gifts will be a dependable source of support that the Balloon Federation of America can count on throughout the year.
IRA Charitable Rollover
The IRA Charitable Rollover Provision allows individuals who have reached 70 ½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income. This provision had expired on January 1, 2015, but was reinstated and made permanent.
Tribute and Memorial Gifts
In moments of joy, celebration, sadness or gratitude, we often look for ways to honor or remember a special person in our lives. The Balloon Federation of America welcomes gifts made in tribute or memory of individuals whether that person is a family member or friend.
A tribute or memorial gift can be made in honor of your special person at any time and in any amount.
To make a memorial gift, click here.
Giving appreciated securities is a convenient way to support the Balloon Federation of America while gaining tax advantages. You will receive an income tax deduction for the full market value of the stock on the date of the gift, provided you have owned the securities for more than 12 months. Most donors avoid liability for capital gains tax otherwise due on the sale of securities.
How to Give Securities
When the security is held by your broker or commercial banker:
Notify your broker that you want to give securities to the Balloon Federation of America and send a letter to the broker and the Balloon Federation of America Office, and also include the amount of shares, the name(s) of the stock(s), and state your intention for the gift. In the letter, direct your broker to transfer your gift into the BFA’s account.
When the security is in your name and in your possession:
- You must obtain the stock/bond power from your broker or banker.
- You must also obtain a Release form.
- Sign the stock/bond power and the Release form and have your signature notarized. Sign exactly as your name appears on the stock certificate. If the security is jointly owned, both owners must sign the stock/bond power.
- Mail the signed stock power and Release forms in a separate envelope to the BFA Office along with a copy of your letter of transmittal.
- Mail unendorsed certificates by first class or registered mail with a letter of transmittal to the Balloon Federation of America.
- If the certificates are already endorsed, send them by insured mail or deliver them in person to the Balloon Federation of America Office.
Valuation of Your Securities
The gift value of securities is the mean of the high and low prices on the date that the securities are transferred by your broker and received in Balloon Federation’s account or hand delivered or mailed (date of the later postmark if not the same) in negotiable form to the BFA.
The ceiling on deductibility of your gift of appreciated securities is 30 percent of gross income. However, usually you may carry forward any excess as a deduction for as many as five years. Please consult your attorney or accountant for further information.
Benefits of a Gift of Long-Term Appreciated Securities: Example
Equals Capital Gain
Income Tax Deduction
Income Tax Avoided (Percent used in reference to tax bracket)
Capital-Gain Tax Avoided $8,000 x 20%
Equals Total Tax Savings
Cost of $10,000 gift
Benefit to the Balloon Federation of America
It is usually inadvisable to make a charitable gift of appreciated securities when your capital gain is short term (e.g., you have owned the securities 12 months or less). Such a gift is deductible only on the amount of its cost basis, not its market value.
In general, it is not advisable to donate securities that are currently worth less than you paid for them. If the sale of stocks or bonds would result in a tax-deductible loss, it is usually to your advantage to sell them to establish a tax loss and then donate the proceeds to the BFA.
Closely Held Stock
Making a gift to the Balloon Federation of America of closely held or restricted stock may allow you to gain immediate cash benefits through tax savings. Because closely held or restricted stock requires special handling please contact an attorney or tax advisor.
Gifts of Property
Real estate can be contributed outright or through a life-income gift. You can contribute the entire interest in your property or a fraction of the interest. You can even contribute your personal residence, but continue to reside there for the rest of your life. This gift of a future interest in your home lets you continue to enjoy your home without diminishing your standard of living and while obtaining a substantial current income tax charitable deduction.
Tangible Personal Property
Did you realize that valuable antiques, stamp and coin collections, works of art, cars, boats, and other personal property can be used to support our work? Your treasures can make suitable charitable gifts today or after your lifetime. The financial benefits of the gift depend on whether we can use the property in a way that is related to our mission.
Related use property—e.g., a piece of artwork donated to an art museum—is deductible at the full fair market value. Any other property is deemed nonrelated use property and the deduction would be limited to the lesser of fair market value or your tax basis in the property.
If the federal income tax charitable deduction claimed for a gift of tangible personal property exceeds $5,000, you must obtain an appraisal from a qualified appraiser and submit a special IRS form with the tax return on which the deduction is claimed.
There are several ways to make a gift of personal property to us:
- An outright gift. This allows you to benefit our work today and receive a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize.
- A gift in your will or living trust. You can leave a legacy at the Balloon Federation of America by donating your treasures to us through your will or living trust. A benefit of donating property through your will is that it gives you flexibility to change your mind at any time.
- A bargain sale. You can sell us your property for less than the fair market value of the item. For example, if you sell us an antique for $25,000 that is worth $50,000, you will receive a federal income tax charitable deduction of $25,000 plus the payment from us of $25,000.
- A memorial or tribute gift. If you have a friend or family member whose life has been touched by the Balloon Federation of America, consider making a gift to us in his or her name.
- A charitable gift annuity. You can sometimes use non-income producing property such as a valuable stamp and coin collections or works of art in exchange for life payments and a federal income tax charitable deduction. The amount of the charitable deduction depends, in part, on whether the donated items are retained by the charity and used for its tax-exempt purpose.
- A charitable remainder trust. You may be able to contribute tangible personal property to a charitable remainder trust. If you or a family member is an income beneficiary, you will receive a federal income tax charitable deduction when the property is sold. An additional contribution of cash or appreciated securities is recommended to cover expenses until the tangible personal property is sold.
Tax Reform and Charitable Giving
With the introduction of tax reform this year, you may be looking at your finances and wondering how you will be impacted. For many taxpayers, the new tax law creates an opportunity in the form of increased disposable income. Here are a few of the changes that may affect you.
Income Tax Brackets
Whether you’re a single filer or a married person who files jointly, separately or as head of household, your tax bracket will be new in 2018. The new law maintains seven tax brackets, but lowers rates for most brackets: 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 37 percent. Most taxpayers will see their tax rate decrease. A married couple with a combined income of $150,000, for example, will go from a 25 percent tax rate to 22 percent under the new law.
The new law nearly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for joint filers.
The new tax law repeals the personal exemption.
If you elect to itemize this year, your deductions may look a little different (though charitable deductions remain under the new law). If you purchase a new home, there is now a cap on the mortgage interest deduction for the first $750,000 of debt on your primary residence. Under the new plan, if you itemize your deductions, you will be able to deduct up to $10,000 for income, sales and property taxes.
Charitable Contributions for Cash Gifts
The new law increases the 50 percent of your adjusted gross income limitation for donations by cash, check or credit card to 60 percent.
What Didn’t Change
- Charitable Deductions
You will still be able to deduct your charitable contributions when you itemize your taxes.
- Long-Term Capital Gains and Dividends
The tax rates on capital gains and dividends remain the same at 0, 15 and 20 percent, depending on your tax bracket.
- Charitable Contributions of Appreciated Property
The limitation on charitable gifts of long-term appreciated property to public charities will remain at 30 percent of your adjusted gross income. You can still carry over any excess for up to five additional years.
Talk With Your Tax Professional
There are many ways you can give this year that not only make a difference for the Balloon Federation of America, but offer you benefits as well. Please consult with your tax or financial advisors to determine the best charitable giving strategies for you.
A Great Time to Be Charitable
With the lower tax brackets, you may find yourself in a better financial position to help causes that matter most to you. There are many ways you can make a difference for the Balloon Federation of America while enjoying financial benefits for yourself. Here are two popular ones:
- Name the Balloon Federation of America as a beneficiary of retirement plan accounts. Assets in your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan accounts remain subject to income tax when distributed to your heirs. If you name the Balloon Federation of America as a beneficiary of all or part of your plan, your gift will pass to us tax-free.
- Give from your IRA (if you are 70½ or older). Regardless of whether you itemize your taxes, this gift helps you fulfill your required minimum distribution and is not considered taxable income.
Ways to Ensure Family Comes First
Naming the Balloon Federation of America as a beneficiary in your will is a simple way to enable the future of our important work. But maybe you’ve hesitated because you’re unsure about how much to give.
Because life is unpredictable and the value of your assets is likely to rise and fall, you don’t want to risk that someday your charitable gift could outweigh the well-being of your family. Fortunately, there’s a solution.
Instead of a fixed amount, consider gifting a percentage of your estate or of specific assets. That way, gifts to loved ones and to organizations such as the Balloon Federation of America remain proportional—no matter how your estate fluctuates.
Here are three simple ways to put family first while supporting those we serve:
- Gift a percentage of your estate to the Balloon Federation of America in your will.
- Leave the Balloon Federation of America a percentage of your residual estate (the portion of your estate that remains after all gifts have been made and all claims of the estate are satisfied).
- Name the Balloon Federation of America as a beneficiary of a percentage of your life insurance policy or retirement account.
Be sure to let us know that you have named us as a beneficiary so we can contact your administrator at the appropriate time and put your gift to work as you intend.
Your Will: It's More Than Legalese
It’s one of the most important legal documents you’ll ever create; a will dictates how you want your assets distributed after you’re gone. But beyond legalities, a will is a reflection of your life. It reveals who and what mattered most to you, and it’s the final gesture by which you’ll be remembered.
A well-planned will relieves family members from having to guess your final wishes during their time of grief, and it ensures they are taken care of in the manner you specify. When you provide for an organization such as the Balloon Federation of America in your will, you also extend your legacy of caring and generosity.
A will has extraordinary potential. Consider what a will can do for you:
- Name a guardian for minor children
- Make financial arrangements for family members
- Provide for a pet
- Protect your business
- Forgive a debt
- Direct the division of your property (so the state does not)
- Choose the executor for your estate
- Reduce estate administration expenses
- Provide for a charitable organization
Already Have a Will?
Make sure it’s up-to-date. Life changes such as the following should trigger a review of your will:
- Change in marital status
- Increased/decreased estate value
- Move to another state
Contact your estate planning attorney to make any changes.
Want to Add Us to Your Existing Will?
You don’t need to create a new will. Simply ask your attorney to prepare a codicil, a document that amends your original will. This is a common way to make minor changes.
This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results