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New partnership approach to community giving (09/25/2011)
From: Tina Anderson

As Dahl Automotive celebrates 100 years in business, it made a decision to commit to the Winona community by joining the Winona Community Foundation (WCF) as the foundation’s first business fund. The Dahl family for generations has demonstrated its philanthropy through a strong sense of community, in La Crosse and now in Winona. “It didn’t surprise me when, after approaching Andrew Dahl, general manager of Dahl Toyota, about joining WCF, he was very open to the idea of becoming a part of a community foundation with a donor-advised business fund,” said Jeni Arnold, Grants & Development Director at WCF.

The WCF wanted to learn more about the Dahl family, as it does with all new funds, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Celebrating 100 years in business offered a great opportunity for the Dahls to print a publication offering a very informative account of the history of five generations in business. The publication is available at any of the Dahl dealerships.

Companies make donations in three ways: direct giving, company-sponsored foundation or a donor-advised fund within a community foundation. The main difference between the three styles of giving is reporting, recording, managing and budgeting. All are great ways to contribute to the community, and WCF is thankful that Winona businesses are so very generous.

With a community foundation, granting/gifting is worry-free; the one requirement is that the grant or gift must go to a 501 c (3) in good standing with the IRS. It is the job of the foundation to inform the donor if the nonprofit does not qualify for the grant. “It sure makes me feel good knowing someone is checking to make sure I am making a wise choice with my gift,” said Dahl.

A community foundation is a great choice for maximizing a tax benefit. Make one tax-deductible donation to a community foundation and let the foundation take care of the multiple checks to be distributed to the nonprofits on behalf of the business.

Business funds are a newer way the foundation can support the generous business community. “What a great fit to work with the companies of Winona and encourage planned giving,” said Arnold. The foundation is in its second year with software that allows the foundation to react to donor needs in a timelier manner. “Just as Dahl Toyota believes in strong customer service, we too are here to support the donor and the community by getting donations to the nonprofit in a timely manner,” said Arnold.

The Winona Community Foundation is a multi-dimensional organization here to support donors, nonprofits and the community in so many ways – short term as a fiscal sponsor and longer with donor-advised and endowed funds.



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