Harvest Season Yields Opportunity to Give Back


Farmers can make gifts of grain to benefit their communities

With harvest season upon us, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque encourages farmers to consider making a gift of grain to benefit their community. Donating grain is a simple way to make a meaningful charitable gift outside of the traditional cash contribution.

“Donating grain is a unique way of giving back that many don’t consider,” says Emily Rollins, director of philanthropy. “The value of the grain can be donated to any fund hosted by the Foundation or used to start a new endowment. The Foundation will steward and grow the gift, and the interest an endowed fund earns can be granted out to improve quality of life in the community, forever.”

By giving grain to the Foundation, farmers can avoid including the sale of the grain in their farm income. The cost of growing the crops is deducted, which typically results in saving self-employment, federal income and state income taxes. Benefits are available for those taking the standard deduction, too. Farmers considering a gift of grain are encouraged to first discuss this option with a tax advisor.

“The simplest way to give a gift of grain is to reach out, let us know of your intended gift, and tell us what fund you would like it directed to,” says Rollins. Unsold crop is then taken to a grain buyer, and the farmer tells the buyer how much grain to put into an account set up by the Foundation. The grain buyer then notifies the Foundation, which sells the grain and receives the sale proceeds.

Gifts of grain to endowments at the Foundation also are eligible for Endow Iowa, a 25% state tax credit on the total value of the gift. All qualified donors can carry forward the tax credit for up to five years after the year the donation was made. Visit dbqfoundation.org/endowiowa for more information. 

The Foundation offers many opportunities to address local issues and improve quality of life. To learn more about how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community, contact your local affiliate foundation representative or call the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque at 563-588-2700.