The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 2, 2013

BAF offers new 'Feeding Our Friends' challenge

— Traditionally, the annual Community Grant Program of the Beckley Area Foundation has emphasized awarding grants for durable goods that can be used over a multi-year period by the nonprofit charitable applicants.

However, BAF recognizes that the greatest need of area food banks is obtaining funds to purchase food.  

It is also obvious that current economic challenges within our service area have significantly increased the numbers of people being served by organizations supplying hot meals and non-perishable food items to those in need.

Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Beckley Area Foundation has voted to set aside $5,000 of  West Virginia state tax credits allocated through the Neighborhood Investment Program to leverage cash donations to benefit The Carpenter’s Corner, Fishes and Loaves, Heart of God Food Ministry, Helping Hands, and Shepherd’s Table. Each of these organizations has been a past recipient of BAF grants. All donations made through this “Feeding our Friends” initiative will be considered “pass through gifts” rather than gifts to a permanent endowment.

As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, it is particularly appropriate that we think of the individuals and families who are struggling to cover basic needs.

Following the WV State guidelines, BAF can award a state tax credit voucher in the amount of one half of the donor’s gift to this initiative. To receive this tax credit, the state requires that the donation be $500 or more. Someone who contributes $500 will receive a voucher that will reduce his WV state taxes by $250; someone who donates $1,000 will receive a voucher for $500. Donations of lesser amounts are appreciated, but should be made directly to the food pantry.

BAF will send donors a voucher that can be used to reduce West Virginia personal income tax, corporate net income tax or business franchise tax.  This means the credits are of value to both individuals and businesses. Checks must be made out to the Beckley Area Foundation.

Donors may direct their contribution to one or more of the participating Raleigh County food banks by writing The Carpenter’s Corner, Fishes and Loaves, Heart of God Food Ministry, Helping Hands or Shepherd’s Table on the memo line of their check.  If no designation is indicated, the donation will be divided equally between the five organizations.

Tax credits will be awarded on a first come, first served basis; if the credits are exhausted, BAF will contact the donors to determine if they still wish to make their gift.

As BAF holds a 501-c-3 determination letter, the full amount of each gift is also eligible for inclusion as a charitable deduction on the donor’s federal tax return.  BAF will acknowledge all donations and provide appropriate documentation necessary for including the gift on both state and federal tax returns.

The Beckley Area Foundation will receive no fee for administration costs. Hazel Burroughs is chairing the BAF Board committee overseeing this program; Debbie Gray and Forrest H. Lynch, CPA serve on the committee. Call the BAF office, 304-253-3806, if you have any questions.

The deadline for participating in this program is Friday, Dec. 20th, 2013.

Donations should be mailed or delivered to the Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 203, Beckley, WV 25801.

The office is located on the second floor of the United Bank Building on Main St. in uptown Beckley.