How to Give the Gift Of Giving Year ‘Round

Taxmen Cometh

Women Philanthropists

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Douglas Dixon and Michael Schumacher were

prepared for the December 20,

2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

New from NJEDA: Tech Upgrade for Kringle

It has just been revealed that the New Jersey

Economic

Development Authority (NJEDA) has been working on a secret project

with Kringle Corp. Inc. to perform a technology upgrade of the

entire Kringle corporate enterprise inventory and delivery

infrastructure.

Commented Santa Claus, the Kringle Corp. CEO, "New Jersey

and you, ho, ho, ho!"

For the past year, elves from the Kringle Corp. technology division

have been taking classes at The College of New Jersey to upgrade

their skills in Web design and programming, particularly in the

object-oriented

languages C++ and Java. The elves attended the college incognito,

and apparently this experiment was a holly jolly success.

Kringle Corp. was originally attracted to New Jersey as a logistical

and distribution center because of its location adjacent to a

northernly

shipment route. Due to the steady growth in its client population,

and the increasing bulk and weight of its deliverables, Kringle Corp.

needed to develop a more decentralized approach to inventory

management.

With funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority,

Kringle

Corp. established a warehouse and distribution center near Newark

Airport, with access to air and snow transportation. The Port

Authority

of New Jersey estimates this location will lighten the load for

the Kringle delivery vehicle, allowing it to travel more rapidly

during

transit through other continents, and then stop in Newark to take

on the sacks for this continent. This reduces time from warehouse

to tree, which is particularly important for perishable goods such

as partridges and figgy pudding.

In order to better manage its inventory and deliverables, Kringle

Corp. has been working with database and artificial intelligence

experts

from Princeton University to develop an integrated client and

gift tracking and matching database system. With this system, Kringle

Corp. can input gift requests and suggestions from clients, and then

match them against available inventory and potential suppliers. The

database also uses fuzzy logic to make a list that weighs gift quality

against client disposition ratings, using a calibrated scale from

"naughty" to "nice."

Kringle Corp. also has been able to make use of the

Internet to perform more precise client ratings by evaluating the

materials that clients are posting and transmitting via the Internet.

It is developing automated tools to scan websites, E-mail, and chat

room transcripts in order to check twice for troubling client

behavior.

One future possibility is to provide for direct observation of client

goodness, to see them when they are sleeping and when they are awake,

by connecting to feeds from microphones and WebCams attached to client

PCs.

One major advantage of this new database system is that Kringle Corp.

can take advantage of E-commerce suppliers to address the growing

need for the more technologically-sophisticated items requested by

clients that are replacing the more traditional items manufactured

by the legacy Kringle Corp. facilities. In particular, Kringle Corp.

has been able to take advantage of automated shopping and bidding

systems to reduce stocking costs by selective acquisition of popular

and nostalgic items such as golden rings and sweet silver bells

through

auctions on eBay.

One of the important considerations for this database design was to

maintain the security and privacy of the client information.

Unfortunately,

before the security systems were fully implemented, several young

hackers were able to penetrate the system and adjust their own ratings

towards the nicer end of the scale. However, they were detected, and,

as a result, they had better watch out during the upcoming holiday

season for the Lump O’ Coal virus embedded in a fruitcake.

Kringle Corp. also worked with Princeton-based communications experts

and engineers from several unidentified companies to develop a

sophisticated

worldwide communications system. This provides constant cellular

communications

during airborne and rooftop operations, and uses a GPS tracking system

installed in the delivery vehicle to monitor progress during the

night’s

run. The specifications for this system were particularly demanding

due to the need for it to operate continuously, even when the weather

outside is frightful.

The firm is now considering a follow-up project to develop a bionic

reindeer power and guidance system for the delivery vehicle. This

is intended to automate the sometimes temperamental red-nose guidance

system now in use on foggy Yuletide eves.

In recent years Kringle Corp. has become concerned about escalating

client pouting over receiving incorrect packages. While some of these

reports may be explained by client misjudgments of the type of item

for which they are qualified, Kringle Corp. has moved to tighten its

delivery processes. All inventory, whether hard goods or plush, is

now bar-coded and tracked throughout the Kringle Corp. system. To

verify the destination itself, Kringle Corp. is installing universal

bar-coded markers on client properties, unobtrusively located near

the crown of the chimney.

Finally Kringle Corp. is also considering the use of biometric

identification

systems as definitive verification that the correct item has been

delivered to the proper individual. Marlton-based Iridian

Technologies

Inc. (formerly IriScan, Inc.) was planning to bid for this contract

until R&D determined that identifying individuals by scanning the

iris pattern of the eye is logistically impossible when they are

nestled

all snug in their beds.

— Douglas Dixon

Top Of Page
How to Give the Gift Of Giving Year ‘Round

It’s the holiday season and homes all around are strung

with glowing lights and other festive decorations. For some, this

time of year means gathering with family and friends infrequently

seen during the preceding months. Others look forward to frolicking

at parties oozing with good cheer. And gift giving is as much a part

of this time as the scent of freshly felled conifers and home-baked

delicacies.

For those inclined to give more than the usual store-bought trinkets

and mass-produced tokens of affection, there are opportunities here

in our neighborhoods that provide benefits to worthwhile causes all

year long.

One such way is to join with your local Community Foundation —

a professional organization that oversees endowment funds set up by

members of the community and which makes charitable grants to local

nonprofit organizations. Your donations can be pooled with others

and provide huge benefits to concerns are as varied as our holiday

traditions. These causes include education, healthcare, the

environment,

academia and much more.

"Thanks to community foundations, evolving into a philanthropist

is easier than ever before," says Nancy Kieling, executive

director of Princeton Area Community Foundation, one of several such

organizations in the Garden State. "While traditionally reserved

for the super-rich, philanthropy is now open to a more diverse field

of donors," says Kieling.

There are more than 500 Community Foundations in the country, but

only four based in New Jersey. In addition to PACF, the others are

the Community Foundation of New Jersey in Morristown, the Summit Area

Public Foundation in Summit, and the Westfield Foundation in

Westfield.

According to PACF’s website (www.pacf.org) the organization was

created "to bring the services of a community foundation to the

greater Mercer County area. The Foundation has grown quickly through

the generosity and vision of many in this community who have

recognized

the Foundation as a capable and agile steward of their philanthropic

resources." The total value of PACF’s funds in November was $12.5

million, with over than $800,000 distributed so far this year. Last

year PACF disbursed a record $853,000 to more 250 non-profit

organizations,

an all-time high for the nine-year-old organization.

PACF manages several types of funds. Some are tied to specific causes

such as the mental health, AIDS, women issues and the arts, while

other types, such as the unrestricted funds, support organizations

across greater Mercer County at the discretion of PACF’s board.

Donations

made to these funds are pooled together with others that form the

basis of the endowment. Typically, only interest on the principal

is used for grants. Exclusively PACF and its advisory board control

each of these funds.

Another fund option allows the donors greater involvement in

decision-making

of disbursements. The donor-advised funds, as the name implies, allow

those bankrolling the fund the ability to specify where they would

like to have grants made. About half of the more than 80 funds PACF

manages are donor-advised. "Setting up a donor-advised fund is

simple," says Kieling. "It can be done quickly. A simple fund

agreement lays out the terms of the fund, who the advisor will be,

and what role the foundation plays in the management of the fund.

Whatever asset the donor wishes to give can be transferred at their

convenience — cash or appreciated securities."

"In creating a donor-advised fund, donors retain the right, during

their lifetimes or during the lifetime of other advisors they name,

to recommend grants to specific organization or program field,"

says Kieling.

One of the benefits of a donor-advised fund in a community foundation

such as PACF is the research that takes place on behalf of donors

prior to making a grant. In the majority of the cases, says Kieling,

there isn’t a problem, but when there is, not finding out could result

in a poor investment of a donor’s money. Kieling related that recently

during one of these routine investigations, a prospective recipient

was found to have some internal deficiencies that would not make it

an ideal grant prospect. "It was a great organization, but on

the business side they needed to get things in order. So we advised

against making a grant at this time."

Kieling added, "From time to time the foundation will call

advisors’

attention to special community needs and programs and invite

participation

in special program initiatives."

PACF takes an annual fee of one percent of the donor-advised fund’s

balance to administer the fund. That’s really a good deal when one

considers all that’s required to maintain these funds and make

disbursements.

They include administrative, compliance, professional investment

management

and grant making consulting services.

"Donor-advised funds are a very convenient way to make a single

donation and then have the opportunity to make a variety of

contributions

over time," says Van Zandt Williams, who along with his

wife, set up the Myra and Van Zandt Williams Jr. Fund. "We had

some considerable capital gains and wanted to give it away, so a

donor-advised

fund made sense."

One of the key factors in the Williams’ decision was the opportunity

to get a tax credit in the year the fund was established, while having

the luxury of time to investigate appropriate grant recipients.

It was not merely a tax break that spawned the John Duncan Wallace

Jr. Memorial Fund. Rather, it was the need to memorialize their

son who died of AIDs several years ago that led Jack and

Happy

Wallace to set up this donor-advised fund, which for the past five

years has been providing grants to such groups as the Trenton chapter

of Habitat for Humanity and the Chaplaincy Fund at the Princeton

Medical

Center, as well as numerous local educational and art related

endeavors.

"We try to pick three organizations a year," say the Wallaces,

"and contribute to those type of activities and needs that our

son might have supported. Over the years the fund has grown quite

a bit and we can make fairly meaningful contributions."

Jack Wallace anticipates that in time his other children will take

over as fund advisors. If, however, a donor does not specify a

successor-advisor,

such funds become unrestricted endowed funds of PACF and are pooled

with other PACF assets for future fund making.

The Grandchildren’s Fund is the one of the newest type of

donor-advised

fund to hit the philanthropic landscape, according to Judy

Feldman,

PACF’s director of development and communications. "We were

delighted

when one of our trustees and his wife created a fund to pass on their

family’s tradition of philanthropy to their grandchildren," she

said. "Even though the children are still young, they will begin

to learn about the needs of others, to make small grants, and to think

about how they can help more substantially one day."

"We all know that children are like sponges," says Feldman.

"They soak up everything they see and hear, and learn values early

and best by example. What better way to instill a sense of charity

and compassion for others than by teaching lessons in giving when

children are most receptive, and when they are already learning in

their own everyday experiences about what it means to share."

Feldman recommends www.kidscare.org and k12edphil.org for

learning more about how children can get involved in philanthropy.

Another useful website: www.inheritance-project.com.

Whether one’s generosity stems from a sense of noblesse oblige —

the nagging notion that "to whom much is given, much is

required"

— or the need for atonement or even a tax break, a partnership

with a Community Foundation is easy to forge. Any amount is

acceptable.

There is a $10,000 minimum to open a donor-advised fund. Grants from

the fund are generally made once the fund has built to $25,000.

— Michael Schumacher

Princeton Area Community Foundation, Inc., 188 Tamarack

Circle, Skillman, 08558, 609-688-0300. Nancy W. Kieling, executive

director, www.princetonol.com/groups/pacf

Community Foundation of New Jersey, 35 Knox Hill Road,

Morristown 07963-0317, 973-267-2903. James C. Kellogg, president.

The Summit Area Public Foundation, Box 867, Summit

07902-0867,

908-277-1422. Jon W. Cooper, president.

The Westfield Foundation, 301 North Avenue West,

Westfield,

07091, 908-233-9787. Elizabeth B. Chance, executive director,

www.westfieldnj.com/wf/index.htm

Top Of Page
Taxmen Cometh

The tax advantages of setting up a donor-advised fund

were spelled out in PACF’s November newsletter as follows:

"Philanthropic intentions and smart tax strategy often go

hand-in-hand

when creating either a private foundation or a donor-advised fund.

Both give a person the change to make a charitable gift and reap some

tax benefits. Generally, in the year you make a gift to a

donor-advised

fund you can take an income tax deduction for up to 50 percent of

your adjusted gross income for a cash gift, and 20 percent for gifts

of appreciated property such as publicly-traded stocks. This compares

favorably with tax deductions of 30 percent and 20 percent of AGI

respectively for similar gifts to private foundations.

"Another advantage of the donor-advised fund is that there is

no excise tax imposed. A private foundation is generally subject to

a 2 percent excise tax on income and interest, or at least 1 percent

if higher payout conditions are met.

"A private foundation is required by law to spend at least 5

percent

of its assets on grants and charitable expense annually, whether or

not that much is earned by investment performance. A donor-advised

fund is not subject to the spending rule, and the advisor can suggest

giving away more or less at his or her discretion."

"Both private foundations and community foundations file detailed

annual submissions to the IRS, and both must make public disclosures

about their operations. However, donors to community foundations can

remain anonymous while the names of private foundation donors must

be disclosed."

A good rule of thumb in this and other matters where there’s a

transfer

of money for charitable purposes is to check with your tax advisors.

And then hope they’re right.

Top Of Page
Women Philanthropists

Women business owners lead the general population in

giving money and time to philanthropic causes, according to a new

survey conducted by the National Foundations for Women Business Owners

in cooperation with The Committee of 200 and underwritten by the

Center

for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management at Merrill Lynch.

The report, "Leaders in Business and Community," is based

on a national survey of 226 women and 235 business owners. "Nine

out of ten business owners (92 percent of women and 88 percent of

men) contribute money to charities, compared to 70 percent of all

U.S. households surveyed in 1999," says Nina McLemore, head

of the NFWBO. McLemore says that nearly one-third of the business

owners surveyed make significant personal charitable contributions

of $5,000 or more per year, including 15 percent who contribute

$10,000

or more. McLemore is president of Regent Capital, a Manhattan-based

private investment firm.

Men and women business owners say that they have increased their

charitable

gifts and activities in recent years, and they are increasing their

workplace philanthropy by establishing programs to encourage

volunteerism

by their employees. These policies include provisions for either

unpaid

or paid leave for volunteer activities, and extended leave for

philanthropic

activities.

Women and men philanthropists want to be role models for others.

"As

women acquire greater personal wealth through business ownership,

rising salaries, and inheritance, it is important for them to leverage

their philanthropy by serving as role models for other business

women,"

says McLemore. The survey shows that about half of business owners

agree.

Other survey findings include:

Women business owners are more likely than their male

counterparts

to credit family tradition as motivation for philanthropy.

Women begin their volunteerism at a younger age than men.

Women are more likely than men to use their volunteer time in

leadership positions — serving on board and chairing fundraisers

and special events.

Business owners are more likely to support an organization that

they believe in and that is well-run. They are also more inclined

toward organizations where the solicitor is not pushy, is polite,

and demonstrates a need.

For the $90 report (36 pages with 19 charts) call the National

Foundation for Women Business Owners at 202-638-3060, or visit

www.nfwbo.org

(E-mail info@nfwbo.org).


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