Bread-and-butter planning tips

October 29, 2019

As we approach the end of 2019, here are a few reminders about how BCF can help you work with clients to create a charitable giving plan that will take full advantage of any tax-saving opportunities available to them. 

Worth repeating: Bundling gifts

The timing of charitable gifts is something that can’t fall off the radar, so it’s worth a regular reminder about bunching, or “bundling,” gifts to charities. The ripple effects of tax reform have meant that just 10% of taxpayers now itemize deductions, down from 30%. A smart strategy for your charitable clients who want to maximize deductions under the new tax laws is to make two or more years’ worth of charitable contributions in a single year. This can push taxpayers over the itemizing threshold to reap the benefits of deducting the full value of their donations.

Checklist: Types of funds at community foundations

BCF offers a variety of charitable giving vehicles to meet your clients’ needs. Keep this checklist handy as you meet with philanthropic families. 

Donor-advised Funds: A donor-advised fund enables your client to establish a specific account for charitable giving. Clients make tax-deductible contributions of cash or other assets to the fund, and then they are able to recommend grants to favorite charities. 

Civic Leadership Fund: BCF has its finger on the pulse of the community’s most pressing issues. A gift to BCF’s Civic Leadership Fund gives your clients the opportunity to support community needs that can’t be identified until the future. 

Field of Interest Fund: Clients who want to target giving to specific areas of community need (such as education, health, environment, or the arts) can establish a field of interest fund to establish parameters for grant making under the ongoing guidance and expertise of BCF’s staff.  

Designated Fund: A designated fund allows a client to direct giving to a specific agency or purpose. This type of fund is eligible for IRA rollover contributions. Over time, BCF manages the distributions from the fund according to the terms established by the client.


BCF can help you determine what type of fund is best for your client. Want more info? Contact Rosemary Calderalo today. 

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Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

We have a nearly 30-year history of offering grants to resident-led groups and community projects in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. These grants give residents the resources they need to accomplish a small project, get more people involved, and encourage the next generation of neighborhood leaders. We also fund programs that support the development of leaders of all ages who are working to improve their neighborhoods and schools. Our support is intended to help identify, activate, inform and network leaders. And finally, we believe when schools and neighborhoods team up to improve their school and community, meaningful and lasting change can be made. We are interested in funding proposals in which the students and adults in schools collaborate intentionally with community residents, neighborhood associations, and other individuals, groups, and institutions in the area surrounding a school.

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We believe that attracting and retaining effective and diverse school leaders is a key lever for change in Baltimore's educational landscape, and so we fund school leadership development efforts at the district and individual school level. We are interested in funding proposals that focus on principal coaching, mentoring, peer networking, wellness/self-care, as well as pipelines that identify and develop new leaders. We will also continue to support efforts that build a culture of appreciation and encouragement for school leaders.

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Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

We have allocated funds for two geographical areas that bookend a crucial corridor on the Westside of Baltimore City: Howard Park /Forest Park area (served by Calvin Rodwell Elementary Middle School and Liberty Elementary), and Reservoir Hill/Penn North area (served by Dorothy I Height Elementary). In these three schools and their surrounding neighborhoods, we will support projects and activities designed to make the communities safe, clean, green and vibrant; and improve the quality of the schools. Some projects may be neighborhood-focused, some school-focused and others collaborative projects between the schools and their respective communities.

Early Learning & Judy Centers

Early Learning & Judy Centers

High quality early childhood education has a lifelong effect on students. Through our Early Learning grant program, we are interested in system-wide early childhood education proposals that will help Baltimore City and County's youngest learners, and their families, get the start they need. Nonprofit organizations that offer programs and/or services to Judy Centers are encouraged to contact the centers directly to explore partnership opportunities.

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Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation