Ways to Give

There are many ways to give. The only question may be whether you should give now or give later.

Give Now

You can start supporting the community now with an outright gift of:


A cash gift is the simplest way to establish a fund at the FM Area Foundation or give to an existing fund. Cash gifts are fully deductible up to 50 percent of the donor's adjusted gross income in any year. Deductions exceeding this limit may be carried forward for up to five additional years.


Gifts of appreciated securities (stock, bonds, and most mutual funds) result in a charitable deduction for the total market value of the donated asset and minimize capital gains taxes. Suppose you have held the securities for one year or longer. In that case, the current value is generally tax-deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income, with a five-year carryover if the gift amount exceeds the 30 percent limit.

Real Estate

Gifts of real estate can include a house, apartment building, farm, vacation home, commercial buildings, and income-producing or non-income producing land. A gift of real estate you have owned for more than a year entitles you to a tax deduction for the property's fair market value, and you avoid paying capital gains taxes.

Life Insurance

When you name the FM Area Foundation as the owner and beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy, you receive an immediate tax deduction that usually approximates the policy's cash surrender value. All premium payments made after that are deductible as a charitable contribution.

Give Later

You can give through your estate plan by designating the FM Area Foundation as the beneficiary of:

Gift In Your Will

Including a charitable gift in your will is a simple way to make a lasting impact on the causes and charities you love. It is easy to do and allows you to use your assets while you are living and reduce the amount of estate tax paid by your estate. A gift may be made in your will or trust directing a gift to the FM Area Foundation, which will be used to create or support your charitable fund that benefits the community forever and becomes your personal legacy of giving. When defining your gift, you can specify that the FM Area Foundation receive a stated dollar amount, a specific piece of property, a percentage of your total estate, the remainder of your estate after distributions to other beneficiaries, or you can make your gift contingent on certain events.

Your Retirement Plans

Donating part or all of your unused retirement assets, such as your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension or other tax-deferred plans, is an excellent way to make a gift to the FM Area Foundation. If the retirement assets were given to your family, much of the value may be lost through estate and income taxes. By designating the FM Area Foundation as the beneficiary of all or part of your IRA (using a beneficiary designation form provided by your custodian), the full value of the gift is transferred tax free at your death and your estate receives an estate tax charitable deduction.

A Life Insurance Policy

Many people find that the protection offered by life insurance policies is no longer needed later in life. At that time, a life insurance policy can become an ideal tool for charitable giving. A few steps need to be taken to donate a life insurance policy. You start by irrevocably assigning your insurance policy to the FM Area Foundation and naming the Foundation as the sole beneficiary. You can make annual tax-deductible contributions to cover the policy's annual premium. Or, if the policy is paid up, you will receive an immediate tax deduction equal to the policy's cash surrender value.

Making a planned gift through your estate plan enables you to maintain control of your assets during your lifetime and possibly give more than you ever thought you could.  To learn more, visit our planned giving site.

These are examples of common ways to give, but many philanthropic vehicles exist. Our expert staff will work with you and your advisor to create effective approaches specifically designed for your unique giving and financial situation, whether it is a gift today or a planned gift in your will.

Starting a Donor-Advised Fund at the FM Area Foundation (FMAF) Starting a Private Foundation Giving Directly to a Favorite Charity
Initial Gift Minimum $5,000 with intention to build to $25,000 within five years $5-$10 million recommended None
Administrative Support Provided by FMAF professional staff None, must hire private foundation staff N/A
Tax Deduction Limits for Gifts of Cash* 50% of adjusted gross income 30% of adjusted gross income 50% of adjusted gross income
Tax Deduction Limits for Gifts of Stock or Real Property* 30% of adjusted gross income 20% of adjusted gross income 30% of adjusted gross income
Required Payout None Must expend 5% of net assets value annually N/A

Learn More

We can do so much more for our communities by working together. If you want to make a difference close to home, you can join like-minded supporters and give to one of our 400+ charitable funds, each with its own unique story and purpose.

“We wanted the scholarship to live on as a legacy for Norman and I in our communities to encourage a young person as they seek their dreams.”

Agnes Liudahl Donor

“Serving on the Foundation board enables me to support efforts to strengthen our community.”

Morrie Lanning Board Member

“We are thrilled to engage our daughters as future advisors to our fund. Knowing there will always be a family member to guide our charitable intent makes us feel great.”

Mike & Peggy Bullinger Donors

“Anything that can motivate a child’s love of reading deserves support. Read to Lead can be such a vehicle.”

Noel & Judy Fedje Donors

“Thank you to the Women's Fund for supporting our moms and children.”

Jeremiah Program Program

“The community foundation is specifically created to encourage and nourish the giving spirit in the community.”

Art Cupler Founder

“Thanks to support from the FM Area Foundation, we completed two major projects. We're very grateful for the Foundation’s generosity as these projects support our mission to preserve and maintain the historic facility.”

Emily Beck Fargo Theatre

    Contact Our Staff

    Greg Diehl, CAP®
    Director of Gift Planning and Donor Services
    Eric Wilkie, MS, CFRE
    Executive Director