Posted by Charles Rehberg on May 06, 2019
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
May 6, 2019
Rotary calendar:
            May 11: Rotary Serves. Members can sign up (very quickly) for Spokane Rotaract Junior Lilac Parade.  The organization starts at 7 a.m. with a breakfast at The Centennial Hotel (former Inn at the Park and RL).  Participants receive a T-shirt.  President Lenore Romney has pre-registration sign-ups. The theme is “Bands on Broadway,” for this 68th annual Junior Lilac parade.  Club 21 and Aurora Northwest are sponsors and Spokane-North members are welcomed participants.
May 13: Rotary Connects.  Social gathering begins at 4:30 p.m. at Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards at 1331 W. Summit Parkway.
            May 20: Lunch meeting, noon, at Nectar’s in Kendall Yards, speaker TBD.
            May 27: No meeting; Memorial Day holiday.
            June 3: Lunch meeting, noon, at Nectar’s.  Club scholarship winners honored.
June 24:  Club’s year end celebration and installation of officers dinner at Kalispel Golf and Country Club.
            Sept. 20: Club fund-raising wine tasting and dinner at Kalispel Golf and Country Club.
            A shoe-in: Club members collected 64 pairs of gently-used shoes for the Colville High School Interact Club fundraiser which generated funds for the group’s service project in Ecuador, said President Lenore Romney.  The young Rotarians sent a nice thank you to the Club with a “Hi Mr. Noble” note to Ron Noble, our new member who served a long time in the Colville Club.
            District 5080 Conference: Organizers say volunteers are needed to help at registration tables at the May 16-18 joint District Conference at the Spokane Convention Center.  A huge turnout is expected, with speakers including Bill Gates of Microsoft.  Contact Karen Hepler of Aurora NW Rotary at (509) 979-8667 if you are available to assist.
            Serving at Holmes: Coordinator Sandy Fink said four members have signed up to take leading roles on our Holmes Elementary projects and more members are needed.  Duties include mentors, school supplies, Holmes Heroes shirts, the principal’s emergency fund, Christmas gifts and Golden Heroes awards.
            Club Board for 2019-2020: President: Melinda Keberle. President-elect/Vice President: Steve Bergman. Past President: Lenore Romney. Treasurer: Chad Haverkamp. Secretary: Tim Zacharias. Directors: Eric Johnson and Chuck Rehberg.
            The club’s annual dinner and installation of officers will be Monday, June 24, at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club’s 1898 Restaurant.
 Some Rotary tax relief open for itemization
            The Club signed an agreement to participate in the new Rotary District 5080 Charitable Fund.  This is a charitable organization established by District 5080 under Internal Revenue code section 501(c)(3).  Donations to the Charitable Fund may be made on behalf of Rotary North and would qualify for tax deduction if you itemize on your federal income tax return. 
            At the May 6, luncheon Bill Simer, longtime club member and a top accountant at the Eide Bailly firm led us through the maze of tax possibilities of “donor advised funds.”   “These donor-advised funds have been growing in the last five years,” Simer said.
            As always in tax issues, charitable tax contributions are individual decisions and there is no space here to cover all situations.
            In general, previously most contributions to the Rotary club did not qualify as a tax deductible donation.  Simer noted longtime club members like the late Maury Hickey (who joined the club in 1974) had often asked why most Rotary money, other than RI Foundation funds, did not qualify for a tax deduction.  In simple terms, it is because Rotary clubs are non-profit organizations, but not qualified charitable organizations.  The cost to establish and maintain a charitable organization was a roadblock for Rotary North until District 5080 took on this task on behalf of the U.S. clubs in our district.
            The Rotary District 5080 Charitable Fund operates as a donor-advised fund.  Monies will be sent to the Fund, but the Club retains advisory privileges over the disbursement of the monies so long as the distribution qualifies as an expenditure under the rules for 501(c)(3) organizations.
            Simer said the new fund operates something like the donor advised fund offered by Spokane’s Innovia Foundation (formerly the Inland Northwest Community Foundation).  One big difference between the Rotary District’s charitable fund and Innovia’s donor advised fund is that the Innovia fund “takes 2 percent off the top” for administration fees, while the new Rotary District charitable fund has no such administration fees. 
            Donation level record keeping is the responsibility of the participating Rotary clubs.  Qualified monies will be reported annually to the donors.  “It will look similar to the annual record of giving from your church,” said club president and fellow accountant Lenore Romney.
            Still to be worked out is exactly what disbursements might qualify, Simer and Romney said.
            “We have signed the participation agreement but haven’t sent any money to the charitable fund yet,” Romney said.
            Simer added that some individual estates and other funds might be “in the discretion of 5080.”
            Romney said, “We will rely on Bill to help us know what qualifies.”
            For example, they said, on an item like tickets for the club’s annual fund-raiser, if the fair market value of food and wine is deducted from the ticket price, it might not be worthwhile to itemize that contribution.  “But the paddle-raise qualifies,” Romney said.
            Money contributed to individuals and in-kind gifts, such as the Christmas gift program, would not qualify, Simer said.  But other “calls,” like asking for Polio Plus money, would qualify, Romney said.
            If you wish to make a donation to the Club through the charitable fund, the proper wording of your check for a tax-deductible donation is:
                          “Rotary District 5080 Charitable Fund” on the payee line;
                          “Spokane North Rotary Club” on the memo line
 The bulletin producers:
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
            Photos: Sandy Fink and Eric Johnson