Giving Options

The Benson Area Community Foundation Endowment Fund

Established in 2005, the Benson Area Community Foundation has two funds which are used to fund the work of the Foundation. Those funds are: 1) Operating Fund; and 2) Endowment Fund. A brief explanation of each fund follows.

Operating Fund – Like all organizations, there are costs of doing business. Our Operating Fund contains money used for office-type expenses such as stationery, postage, business envelopes, production of Foundation-related brochures and the like. This fund normally has less than $500.00.

Endowment Fund – From its inception in 2005, the Foundation Board of Directors selected creation of the Endowment Fund to be its principal fund. The Endowment Fund principal remains intact and only the annual return on investment  is available for distribution. The vision of the Board of Directors when creating the fund was to use available resources to fund community-based projects which would address unmet needs in the Foundation’s catchment area in the following domains: a) arts and humanities; b) parks and recreation; c) education; and d) quality of life. The goal of the fund is to assist organizations who meet the Foundation’s eligibility guidelines and who apply for funding, to implement projects which will address unmet community needs in one of the four domain areas. Funding is typically made at no more than 50% of any total project cost. The Foundation has been making grant awards on a twice-a-year schedule, in April and in October. Public service announcements are issued through local media sources making each grant-making cycle known to the community. When requested, the collective requested amounts exceed the amount of resources available from the Endowment Fund for any given grant-making cycle, the Board of Directors make priority-based decisions accordingly. In some grant cycles, not all requests for funding are able to be satisfied.




The simplest method of giving is to write a personal check to the Benson Area Community Foundation, or visit to give to us online with your credit card. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and help us to empower the people, businesses and organizations in and around the Benson community.

The Benson Area Community Foundation is organized as an affiliate of the Southwest Initiative Foundation. As our partner, the Southwest Initiative Foundation provides administrative support through gift processing and receipting, grant processing, investment management, and the 501(c)(3) public charity infrastructure necessary for your gifts to receive the highest possible charitable tax deduction.

Southwest Initiative Foundation’s professional staff are also available to assist you and our board with understanding these giving options, and thinking about what’s best for your specific giving situation and goals.


Ways to Support the Benson Area Community Foundation:

Appreciated Securities

Giving appreciated securities has great tax advantages. You’ll receive an income tax deduction equal to the market value of the stock. And, you avoid capital gains tax.


Commodities can also make a great gift. You deliver the commodities to a local elevator and gift them in Southwest Initiative Foundation’s name (the elevator should contact Southwest Initiative Foundation right away). Your specific tax benefits depend on whether you claim the commodities as part of your income before gifting them. 


Farmland can be gifted to us, sold and converted to cash for an immediate charitable impact, or it can be retained in Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Keep It Growing℠ program. This unique program allows Southwest Initiative Foundation to maintain ownership of the land, with the annual rental income passing to the Benson Area Community Foundation to support our mission.


A provision or bequest in your will allows you to make a substantial contribution without diminishing assets available to you during your lifetime. You simply name Southwest Initiative Foundation, for the benefit of Benson Area Community Foundation in your will.

Retirement Plans

Naming us as beneficiary of your retirement plan account(s) avoids income tax. IRA assets often make the best charitable gift because of the significant tax savings that can be accomplished. You simply name Southwest Initiative Foundation, for the benefit of Benson Area Community Foundation using your plan administrator’s beneficiary designation form.

Charitable Gift Annuity

In exchange for a gift of cash or securities, Southwest Initiative Foundation will pay you and/or a loved one a fixed amount annually for the rest of your life. A portion of this income is not taxed, and you also receive a tax deduction for part of your gift. This is a great strategy to save taxes, yet still receive a fixed payment for your lifetime.


Contact us for more details or to discuss your estate plan!