News & Event
Bunching isn’t just for grapes anymore. In the language of donor strategies — and optimal tax advantages — bunching, or bundling, is a smart way to respond to the changes in the tax rules enacted for 2018.
GCF can help you to craft a bunching plan that brings the strongest possible returns for your giving priorities
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which takes effect this tax year, has raised questions about its potential effect on charitable deductions and contributions. These new tax rules passed by Congress nearly doubled the standard deduction for couples — from $12,700 to $24,000 — while simultaneously limiting many itemized deductions, including property taxes and mortgage interest. Because of this, there is speculation that the percentage of taxpayers itemizing their deductions in 2018 will decrease, and that it will impact the tax incentive to give charitable donations.
At Greater Cincinnati Foundation, we know that you are passionate about your giving, and that a tax break is far from being the only factor. We also understand that it’s important to leverage the power of your contributions by considering the best tax advantage. That’s where a strategy for your donor advised fund, known as bunching or bundling, comes into play.
Here’s how it works: By “bunching” or grouping two or three years of your regular giving amounts into the first year —along with other itemized deductions — you can accrue a total that is higher than the standard $24,000 deduction (for couples) or $12,000 (for single taxpayers). Through your donor advised fund, the charitable donations can be distributed in multiple years, but you obtain the tax deduction in year one. In year two (and three, if you set up the distribution over three years), you then take the standard tax deduction.
Bunching can be especially beneficial during a high-income year. Moreover, it maximizes the power of your giving to the causes that are important to you. Working with GCF connects you with others who care about making a purposeful difference in our community. Through unmatched personalized service and flexibility of giving options, GCF amplifies the imprint of your generosity.
For further information about bunching options through donor advised funds, please contact our Donor and Private Foundations staff.
*Greater Cincinnati staff does not provide tax or legal advice.
The information provided is for illustration purposes only.
Ziegler is known today as a professional and civic leader, but he began work as a farmhand, golf caddy and delivery boy before graduating from Covington Latin School. While studying at Thomas More College and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, he waited tables along Dixie Highway and was a third-shift dock worker at Wiedeman Brewery and a law clerk. Now at a law firm that bears his name, and having just this month celebrated 60 years of law practice, Ziegler serves on the board of trustees of Thomas More College and is on the UC College of Law board of visitors.
As someone who has seen first-hand the importance of education, Ziegler seeks to support students who exhibit a strong work ethic but need financial assistance.
The depth of his and his late wife Helen’s generosity and investment is reflected by the Wilbert L. and Helen R. Ziegler Charitable Fund, an endowment that will be established at GCF through an estate plan to provide everlasting support to student scholarships at local schools, as well as area organizations serving the disabled.
“Philanthropies that have come to recognize the roles of race and ethnicity are using research to become better informed about their role in social and economic disparities. These organizations are actively building into their lexicons and strategies an emphasis on historical inequality, racial equity and racial justice in their grantmaking, programs and services.” — Giving Black: Cincinnati report, December 2018
Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Giving Black: Cincinnati report, released in December in collaboration with New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBiP), provides a wealth of information into the largely unrecognized legacy of black philanthropy and current giving priorities of Cincinnati’s African American residents. It’s a data-rich document that resonates with insights that can amplify the significant gifts they bring to the funding table.
“Black philanthropy matters — it is a form of black leadership,” Bithiah Carter, NEBiP President, told attendees at the Giving Black: Cincinnati report release event. “Our children need to see us as philanthropists and leaders, and this report is proof that we are.” Giving Black: Cincinnati also celebrates the deep legacy of black stewardship in Cincinnati that dates back to the early 19th century. It’s a force that has driven civil rights, social justice and equity issues — often without noticeable recognition. That lack of acknowledgement, which Giving Black: Cincinnati seeks to dispel, persists today.
It prevails even among the 300 black respondents to the Giving Black surveys, interviews and focus groups. Across the board, they reported finding it difficult to see their charitable efforts as “philanthropy.” They also noted that they often weren’t included in the “ask” for mainstream philanthropic efforts.
While the respondents varied greatly in age, education and salary — from baby boomers to millennials, male and female, married and single, less than a high school education to PhDs, from under $80,000 in household income to more than $250,000 — their feedback identified philanthropy as the realm of wealthy white people. That’s despite the fact that, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, African American families give larger shares of their income, volunteer their time and donate other non-financial resources to charity more than any other racial or ethnic group.
The study found that a majority of black donors base their philanthropic decisions upon the value of “giving back to support the community.” That translates into an emphasis on Cornerstone and Kinship donor practices, defined as “general betterment of society” and “empowering the black community or a subset of the black community,” respectively.
Cornerstone donors are more likely to direct their giving to organizations that address needs of the black community such as education, the economy and social justice. Those themes resonate in Kinship giving practices as well; the perspective of Kinship donors is frequently driven by the belief that their personal outcomes are bound up with the broader fate of the black community.
Across gender and all income levels, black donors reported giving most heavily to churches/religious institutions (34 percent) and to family/friends in need (24 percent). That religious-based philanthropy comprises the third major donor practice, Sanctified giving, or “living out my faith.” Several Sanctified donors cited their giving to churches as result of first learning about the concept of giving from those institutions — a tendency retained regardless of their current church attendance.
Overall discretionary giving categories, after church/religious institution and family/friends in need, included educational institutions (11 percent), direct services agencies (11 percent), arts and culture organizations (7 percent), electoral campaigns (4 percent) and advocacy/policy research (3 percent).
According to the report, “black donors have the most confidence in nonprofit and affinity organizations that solve or remediate local, regional and national problems that grossly impact people of African descent.” Overall, they reported donating within the past 12 months to two civil rights organizations that have historically been cornerstones of the black community: the NAACP (29 percent) and the Urban League (30 percent).
In addition to financial support, 91 percent of the survey respondents reported giving of their time and talents to volunteer opportunities in the community, citing “making a difference” as their main motivation.
Check out the entire Giving Black: Cincinnati report here. For further information, please contact Robert Killins, Jr., GCF Director of Special Initiatives, at email@example.com.
“In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” — Flora Edwards
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) believes that connecting people with purpose changes the lives of everyone involved. Giving circles — creative, interactive means of achieving that impact — bring like-minded people together to pool their resources, explore together how to best support causes they care about and, as a group, decide how to allocate their combined resources. GCF is increasing these hands-on opportunities for our donors with a variety of giving circles this year and will provide a match to each circle.
Participating in a giving circle can spur a sense of civic pride and energy, by fostering a heightened familiarity with the many — often unseen — organizations and people that are moving our region forward every day.
“This process, for me, was a chance to understand even deeper what is going on in the community and how to best support it,” NKY Giving Circle Chair Rebekah Gensler told Northern Kentucky Thrives.
Since 2017, GCF has convened three giving circles — focused on arts and culture, STEM education and Northern Kentucky youth — which engaged 34 donors and contributed more than $250,000 to 21 regional nonprofit organizations.
Our 2019 Giving Circles are forming now, and members will have the opportunity to determine the funding focus within the set topic of each circle. The opportunities include:
“Each giving circle is unique — reflective of its members’ perspectives and priorities,” said Phillip Lanham, GCF Vice President, Donor and Private Foundation Services. “The process generates new, creative connections to organizations and between members, who take away from the group experience a pride of place and a deepened sense of ownership in the progress of our community.”
To learn more about participating in a GCF giving circle, please contact Colleen McCarthy Blair, Director, Donors Services, at 513-768-6134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cincinnati Black Giving Circle Grant Recipients (above)
Cincinnati Black Giving Circle members (above)
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with its first Cincinnati Black Giving Circle, has awarded $100,000 in grants to four nonprofit organizations working to address racial inequities faced by emancipated youth, young children and single mothers in our region.
These four nonprofits will each receive $25,000:
The inaugural Cincinnati Black Giving Circle was formed as a result of GCF’s Giving Black: Cincinnati report, which explored both the rich legacy of black philanthropy in our region and the giving priorities and perspectives of black donors today. It provides hands-on impact, encouraging and leveraging organized giving by black donors to nonprofits serving critical needs faced by black residents in our communities.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the success of this first Cincinnati Black Giving Circle,” said GCF President/CEO Ellen M. Katz. “The passion and commitment of the members to drive the transformative impact of their generosity is truly inspiring.”
The Cincinnati Black Giving Circle’s steering committee met to collectively determine the focus of the grants and to seek proposal requests, which were then evaluated and voted on by the Giving Circle’s members.
This Giving Circle was one of five GCF Giving Circles convened in the past year, generating a total of $352,000 to benefit 29 nonprofit organizations in our community. GCF will partner in the formation of another Cincinnati Black Giving Circle this year.
As you plan your holiday and year-end giving, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to assist and be your philanthropic partner.
Your new fund can be established quickly. Call to discuss your charitable goals with a member of GCF’s Giving Strategies Group and decide which type of fund is best for you and your family. The date of the gift transfer to GCF is most important - it will determine whether your gift qualifies for a 2017 tax deduction.
To ensure your grants are received by the charitable organizations you support before December 31, please submit your recommendations to GCF before Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Find out more about how to add assets to your fund.
GCF will be working throughout the holiday season to facilitate your charitable giving. Our office is open from 8:30
a.m.-5:00 p.m. on weekdays with the exception of December 25, 2017, and January 1, 2018.
To talk about arrangements for your year-end giving and grantmaking, please call our Giving Strategies Group at
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
Updated Nov. 17, 2017
CINCINNATI (March 3, 2018)—Eleven members of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Arts and Culture Giving Circle recently granted $80,000 to 10 local nonprofits.
This was the first time GCF has convened a giving circle, which brings together the resources of donors with the resources of the Foundation. In 2017, GCF and its donors together granted $9 million to arts organizations.
“Many of our donors care deeply about the arts,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO. “We wanted to follow their lead, as they selected worthy programs for funding. These organizations are doing inspiring work, and we are thrilled to deepen our connection to the regional arts community.”
Members selected the projects that best increased the number of individuals who have the opportunity to experience the power of the arts through programs that will promote and enhance personal development, art appreciation and quality of life.
“This giving circle was a great opportunity for us to advance the arts in the community,” said Patti Heldman, co-chair. “The arts speak to everybody.”
“I feel honored to have read all the applications and to work with the nonprofits who applied,” said Linda Greenberg, co-chair of the giving circle.
Art Opportunities received $5,000 for Saturday Hoops Creative Placemaking, which is an ArtWorks collaboration with Saturday Hoops that empowers 12 youth to share the transformative power of art with their peers, a community of at-risk youth.
Cedar Village received $5,000 for In the Footlights: An Art & Music Therapy Program for Seniors, which engages nursing home residents in art and music therapy through an original musical production, under the co-direction of music and art therapists.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center received $5,000 for the Art Education for All, which provides scholarships and subsidies the program enables more children and adults in Uptown Cincinnati’s five core neighborhoods (Avondale, Clifton, Corryville, University Heights and Mt. Auburn) to engage in the arts.
Creative Again received $10,000 for the Arts Programming for Seniors program, which brings professional arts and humanities programs to facilities that serve seniors, such as nursing homes, assisted and independent living, senior centers, day programs.
Elementz received $10,000 for relocation and program expansion. Looking at the community need in the arts space, Elementz focuses on using art to encourage and nurture creative skills in teens that for various reasons are not able to access other arts programming in their school or neighborhood, or the programming offered does not seem relevant to them.
Ensemble Theatre received $5,000 for the Hunter Heartbeat Program, which uses Shakespearean text and theatre games to teach social skills to students with autism.
Kennedy Heights Community Arts Center received $10,000 for the Expanding Arts Experiences for Youth program, which provide arts and cultural programs for racially and economically diverse youth ages 5-17 at KHAC and in partnership with public schools, libraries and a social service organization.
Stepping Stones received $5,000 for the Arts Sampler for Adults with Disabilities, which exposes clients to a variety of hands-on arts workshops and classes over a 10-week period. The clients identify their own areas of interest and, in collaboration with local arts organizations, and pursue their varied interests -- from drama to visual arts to music to dance.
West End Art Gallery received $5,000 for Artlet Workshops. Through partnerships with West End Art Gallery, Q Kids Dance Group, Cincinnati Film Society, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and West End YMCA, art workshops and programming will be made available to provide much needed Artlet to the West End, an undeserved neighborhood in Cincinnati.
Special thanks to Giving Circle co-chairs Linda Greenberg and Patti Heldman and members Mary Bonansinga, Sheila Cohen, Beverly Erschell, Bruce Hager, Karen Meyer, Barbara Sferra, Ron and Michael Stibich and Nancy Virgulak.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2017, GCF had net assets of $636 million.
720 E. Pete Rose Way,
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Privacy | Site Map