Support can be provided to the Ames Historical Society by becoming a member or making donations. Types of donations include historical materials, volunteer time, and funds.
DONATION OF HISTORICAL MATERIALS
The Ames Historical Society collects and preserves artifacts, archival records and other materials of historical significance relating primarily to Ames and its immediate vicinity (Washington, Franklin, Grant and Milford townships). Most items come to the Society as donations from individuals and groups since funding for purchasing items is quite limited. Local chapters of Questers have been particularly generous with their donations.
The Acquisition Policy provides selection criteria for incoming material. All offers are given careful consideration. A Deed of Gift form is completed for material accepted. Donations to the Society, a 501(c)(3) Iowa Nonprofit Corporation, are tax deductible. The Society does not provide monetary appraisals or authentications of historical materials. Assistance in these areas may be obtained by contacting local antique and other specialty appraisers or visiting the web site of the American Society of Appraisers.
Local history is being lost almost daily as people discard or destroy accumulated possessions. What is thrown away may be of value to a future researcher studying our community. The Society encourages residents and organizations to contact us at (515) 232-2148 to determine if material has historical significance for our collections.
DONATION OF VOLUNTEER TIME
Several options are open to persons and groups wishing to volunteer their time.
Current needs include: identifying people in 8x10 prints from the Ames Tribune Photographic Archive, entering data into indexes for blueprints and photographs, cleaning artifacts, rejuvenating a 1908 pony saddle, researching events for our “This Month in Ames History” web page, making a word search puzzle, and listing items for sale on eBay. If interested, contact Dennis Wendell, Collections Curator, at 515 232-2148 or 233-1404 or email this address: mail (at) AmesHistoricalSociety . org.
Anyone who has visited our present headquarters at 416 Douglas realizes that the 900 square feet of rented space is now totally inadequate for our needs. Besides this space, two storage areas are also filled to overflowing. In November 2003, an historic benchmark was achieved with the establishment of the first-ever Building Procurement Fund. This was initiated by an anonymous donor of modest means who set aside 20 cents in pocket change each day supplemented by “found money.” A separate account has been established at First National Bank to receive contributions.
Once a museum is established, a Programming Endowment is critically needed to fund paid staff, engage in preservation work, and create interpretive exhibits for the public. Membership dues alone cannot meet these needs. A Board member has recently written a will to provide such an endowment. Unrestricted support like this is essential for the growth of the Society. You can help by contributing to establish this fund.
Charitable bequests and other estate gifts are fully tax deductible as a charitable contribution, so estates pay no federal estate tax or state inheritance tax. Wills and codicils to wills are the most common means of transferring gifts after death.
· Retirement Plan Assets
Funding a charitable bequest with a qualified retirement plan, like a traditional IRA, 401(k) plan, or TIAA-CREF, is particularly appealing because both income tax and estate tax are avoided, making this a very “tax-wise” gift. Savings bonds and deferred compensation are also possibilities.
· Life Insurance
Donation of a life insurance policy results in a current income tax deduction and converts an asset that may no longer be needed into a significant gift. Ames Historical Society can also be named as a partial or sole beneficiary of an insurance policy, or a policy can be written naming us as the beneficiary. In the latter case, we hold the policy and make annual premium payments with an annual gift from the donor. The donor gets a tax deduction for the amount of the annual premium.
· Gift with a Retained Income
This method provides for making a current gift to the Ames Historical Society while retaining an income for the donor’s life, and, if desired, for the additional life of the donor’s spouse or other beneficiary. Some or all of the following benefits may obtain: retained income for life, the possibility of an increased rate of return on the gift assets, a charitable income tax deduction, avoidance of capital gains tax, removal of the gift property from the donor’s taxable estate, reduced estate settlement costs.
· Pooled Income Funds
In this method, gifts ($25,000 minimum) from a large number of donors are combined for investment in such mutual fund companies as Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab.
· Individual Charitable Trusts
Larger contributions ($100,000 or more) may be placed in a trust which can be structured to pay either a variable income with growth potential or a fixed income that will not change. The donor may determine the trust income or “payout” rate within certain limitations. Under current tax law, the minimum payout is 5%, with the average ranging between 5-7%. Trusts can be funded with cash, marketable securities, and even real estate. Charitable trusts are very attractive when funded with highly appreciated assets like stock and real estate because capital gains tax is totally avoided. Trusts may be established through an attorney, stockbroker, or bank trust department.
· Your Residence and Life Income Gifts
There are those for whom equity in a personal residence may represent a substantial asset. The donors contribute a residence and retain the right to continue living in the house during their lifetimes (a life estate). The donors receive a current income tax deduction based upon their ages and the appraised value of the residence. Capital gains tax is avoided and the donors make a significant gift without affecting their current lifestyles.
· Charitable Lead Trust
This highly specialized estate planning technique provides an income to Ames Historical Society for a period of years, after which the remaining assets are distributed to the donor or heirs. Lead trusts are appealing when donors would like to transfer significant assets to heirs at a reduced cost in terms of estate and gift taxes, while also benefiting a charity.
SAMPLE BEQUEST IN A WILL
“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to the Ames Historical Society,
Ames, Iowa, ____ percent of my net residuary estate (or the sum of $________
or the following described property, or the rest and residue of my estate
after payment of the foregoing bequests). This is an unrestricted
gift and may be used to further the mission of the Ames Historical Society.”
SAMPLE CODICIL TO A WILL
“I, ______________________, a residence of ____________________, declare this to be a codicil to the Last Will executed by me on _________, this codicil being as follows: I hereby give, devise and bequeath to the Ames Historical Society ____ percent of my net residuary estate (or the sum of $ $ ______ or the following described property, or the rest and residue of my estate after payment of the foregoing bequests.) This is an unrestricted gift and may be used to further the mission of the Ames Historical Society.”
“Except insofar as said Will is expressly or by necessary implication changed by this codicil, I do hereby ratify, republish, and reaffirm my said Will and each and every part thereof.”