Door County Community Foundation Announces 2015 – 2016 Scholarship Recipients

The Door County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that over $34,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Door County students pursuing a post-secondary education.  Applications for these and more than one hundred additional scholarship opportunities can be found by visiting the Door County Scholarship Network website at The Scholarship Network website links students to hundreds of thousands of available scholarship dollars.

Congratulations to these 2015 – 2016 Door County scholarship recipients:

John Bobb Memorial Fund – United Methodist Church
Amanda Warwick, Sturgeon Bay, $250
Parent: Melissa Warwick

 John Bobb Memorial Fund – Sevastopol High School
Amanda Henschel, Sturgeon Bay, $250
Parents: Cliff & Christine Henschel

Bill & Yvonne Boettcher Golf Scholarship Fund
Richard Hauser Jr., Sturgeon Bay, $1,500
Parents: Richard & Carrie Hauser

Lawrence Woldt, Sturgeon Bay, $1,500
Parents: Charles & Janel Woldt

Carol Counard Scholarship Fund
Makenna Ash, Ellison Bay, $1,000
Parents: Christian & Carol Ash

Oliver Hansen, Washington Island, $1,000
Parents:  Jens Hansen & Joan Hansen

Lillian McDonald, Washington Island, $1,000
Parents: Jeffrey & Paula McDonald

Samantha Spohn, Sturgeon Bay, $1,000
Parents: Steven & Lynne Tipler

Door Property Owners Scholarship Fund
Makenna Ash, Ellison Bay, $1,000
Parents: Christian & Carol Ash

Da Vinci Scholarship Fund
Yader Ortiz, Sturgeon Bay, $1,000
Parents: Yader Ortiz & Maria Farias

Stanley Greene Memorial Scholarship Fund
Haley Herbst, Sturgeon Bay, $1,000
Parents: Mike & Penny Herbst

Chelsea Lauder, Sturgeon Bay, $1,000
Parents: Bob & Shannon Lauder

Cassidy Van Gheem, Sturgeon Bay, $500
Parents: Randy & Chrystal Van Gheem

Johnny G. Scholarship Fund
Oliver Hansen, Washington Island, $1,500
Parents: Jens Hansen & Joan Hansen

Shelby Kahr, Ellison Bay, $1,500
Parents: Mike Kahr & Jayne Harding

Orville F. Kay Scholarship Fund
Abby Baranczyk, Sturgeon Bay, $5,000
Parents: Robert & Jean Baranczyk

Alyssa Dantoin, Brussels, $5,000
Parents: Greg & Sherri Dantoin

Kelsey Pavlik, Sturgeon Bay, $5,000
Parents: David & Barbara Pavlik

Virginia Muckian Schneider Memorial Scholarship Fund
Olivia Toerpe, Baileys Harbor, $1,500
Parents: Thomas & Kathleen Toerpe

Robert C. Solomon Memorial Scholarship Fund
Timothy Dahl, Sturgeon Bay, $1,000
Parents: Cory & Darla Dahl

Robert J. Stoffel Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund
Ashley Kinnard-Carstens, Sturgeon Bay, $1,500
Parents: Robert Carstens & Jessica Ebel

Sue Todey & Jerry Whitehouse Fund
Madeline Jilot, Sturgeon Bay, $500
Parents: Brian Jilot & Tracy Nelson

The Door County Scholarship Network is a program of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc.  The mission of the Scholarship Network is to streamline the scholarship search and application process so that more people have an opportunity to continue their education after completing high school.  The Scholarship Network is governed by a Board of Advisors comprised of representatives from scholarship programs and schools that serve Door County.

The Scholarship Network website is the most comprehensive source for local scholarship information for students from Door County, Wisconsin. Students of any age who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree, bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a technical certificate, are encouraged to utilize the Door County Scholarship Network website to begin their search for scholarship assistance.

To learn more about the Door County Scholarship Network or donate to an existing scholarship fund, please call (920) 746-1786 or visit,

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County.  The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $15 million in charitable assets.


IRA Charitable Rollover

There is good news for Community Foundation donors in their 70s – and for the communities and causes they care about. Earlier today the President signed legislation renewing and making permanent a law making it possible to give individual retirement account (IRA) assets to charity, free from federal tax, annually. Prior to this new law taking effect, all lifetime distributions from IRAs were subject to taxation – even those given to charity.

As such, our donors can now give far more with less! This may be an attractive giving option for  you if you are:

  • Over 70½ and now receiving minimum IRA distributions – but do not need the extra income.
  • Interested in making a significant lifetime gift to impact your community.

Using IRA assets to make a gift during your lifetime, as opposed to giving via bequest in your will, enables you to experience the joy of making a major gift.

“We’re ready to help our donors take advantage of this legislation and make gifts during their lifetimes. Our personalized service and local expertise helps donors address the issues and causes most important to them,” said Bret Bicoy, President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation.

How it works

  • You make a gift of up to $100,000 by transferring IRA assets to the Door County Community Foundation. You must be 70 1/2 years old. If married, each spouse can transfer up to$100,000 from his or her IRA annually.
  • Your gift can be placed into a charitable fund in your name, the name of your family, or in honor of any person or organization you choose. We handle all administrative details. Please note that private foundations and donor advised funds do not qualify.

By giving through the Door County Community Foundation, you can use your gift to meet ever-changing community needs – including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. Your gift can target the causes and programs you care about most.

Where you can give

  • Discretionary Funds. These offer the best of both worlds – the opportunity to choose a broad area that interests them while relying on the Community Foundation to identify the organizations that will make the greatest impact on that issue.  Discretionary Funds include the Arts Fund, the Children & Youth Fund, the Education Fund, the Green Fund, the Health & Human Needs Fund, the Healthy Water Fund, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the Women’s Fund.
  • Non-Profit Endowment Funds. The Community Foundation administers the vast majority of endowment funds for the charities of Door County.  Visit for a listing of the countless local non-profits with endowments at the Community Foundation.
  • Scholarship Funds. You can create a scholarship in your family’s name to provide educational opportunities for our young people.

Contact us at the Community Foundation to learn more or download an information sheet.

Here is an analysis of the new law prepared by the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC:

Why do donors want to give IRA assets to the Door County Community Foundation?

After decades of deliberate saving, some of today’s retirees have more money in their IRAs than they need for daily living expenses and long-term care. For larger estates, a good portion of IRA wealth goes to estate taxes and income taxes of non-spousal beneficiaries; heirs may receive less than 50 percent of IRA assets passed on to them through estates.

Instead, IRA holders may choose to leave their IRAs to qualified charitable organizations—choosing charity over taxes.

Which donors stand to benefit most from giving their IRAs to charity?

Because charitable IRA transfers are not included in taxable income and not available for itemized charitable deductions, these special rules may benefit many different types of individuals:

  • Generous donorsWhen making a major gift, some taxpayers may give more to charity than they can deduct that year. Donors cannot deduct more than 50 percent of their income for gifts of cash to public charities (30 percent, if giving to private foundations). Although amounts over 50 percent can be carried forward and deducted in future years, taxpayers will face an immediate tax bill and may lose some of the benefit of the deduction if they die before the gift has been fully deducted. Donors who consistently give above the limit will not be able to take advantage of the carry forward provisions.
  • Non-itemizers—Donors who regularly give a portion of their income to charity are not able to enjoy a tax break from the contribution because the standard deduction is still greater than the total of all itemized deductions. This may be especially true if state and local income taxes are low.
  • Financially comfortable—Individuals or couples who distribute the minimum from their IRA—and have other forms of income to pay living expenses—may find that transferring their minimum distributions to the Community Foundation helps fulfill personal charitable goals, tax-free.

In the past, how did the tax law treat charitable gifts made from IRAs?

Prior to 2006, IRA holders faced a disincentive for giving retirement assets to charity during their lifetimes because all withdrawals from traditional IRAs were subject to income tax. Thanks to the renewed tax provision, retirees will be able to give far more support without being penalized, doing so during their lifetimes and seeing their gifts benefit their communities.

In the past, when a donor of any age withdrew IRA funds to make a charitable gift, he or she was liable to pay income tax on the withdrawal, offset to varying degrees by a charitable deduction for the gift.

As a consequence of this unfavorable tax treatment, very few individuals donated IRA funds to charity during their lifetimes.

How has the tax law changed?

The new law permits individuals to transfer up to $100,000 from individual retirement accounts directly to a qualifying charity without recognizing the assets transferred as income for federal tax purposes. A donor who has reached age 70½ is now allowed to exclude from his or her income tax calculations certain IRA withdrawals. In most circumstances, these charitable contributions are not tax deductible unless the retirement accounts were funded with after-tax dollars.

This provision is permanent.

What are the advantages of this new law?

The tax benefits now available to American seniors will encourage new contributions from individuals who will no longer have to pay tax on a charitable gift of IRA funds. When given through the Community Foundation, these contributions can support all aspects of community well-being: arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, neighborhood revitalization and more.

Now it is easier than ever for more people to enjoy the experience of making the tax-free gift of a lifetime using their excess retirement assets.

What if a donor contributes more than $100,000 from an IRA?

Because the amount that the donor is able to exclude from income is limited to $100,000 under the act, the remaining amount would be recognized as income. Within a married couple, each person can transfer $100,000 from his or her account.

Donors may choose to contribute additional amounts to charity; however, the extent to which additional amounts can be deducted from their income will be determined following general rules of itemized deductions where the charitable percentage limitations and itemized deduction reduction are factors.

What is the itemized deduction reduction?

Higher income taxpayers must reduce their itemized deductions by the lesser of 3 percent of the amount by which their income exceeds a certain amount – $250,000 for individuals, $275,000 for heads of households and $300,000 for married couples filing jointly.

These taxpayers can lose up to 80 percent of the value of their deductions because most itemized deductions have to be reduced by 3 percent of the amount by which the taxpayer’s income exceeds a certain number, or 80 percent of the taxpayer’s itemized deductions.

Example: A married couple filing jointly has $500,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) and because their AGI exceeds the $305,050 threshold, the 3 percent reduction applies to this couple’s itemized deductions.

AGI $500,000
Excess of couple’s AGI over $305,500 = $194,950
3% reduction x 3%
Reduction of itemized deductions $5,848.50

The couple’s itemized deductions will be reduced by the lesser of $5,848 or 80% of the itemized deductions.

Does a donor also receive a charitable deduction when he or she transfers assets to a charity under this provision?

No. The benefit under this provision is that the individual does not realize the amount contributed directly from the IRA to a qualifying charity. Because a donor does not include the amount in his or her gross income, the individual may not take a charitable contribution deduction for the contribution. To do so would allow a donor to receive a double benefit from the contribution. For this reason, charitable contribution deductions are explicitly prohibited.

How will charitable distributions affect the minimum required distributions from a taxpayer’s IRA?

Shortly after an individual reaches age 70½, he or she is generally required to receive distributions from his or her traditional IRA. Distributions from an IRA to a charity will receive the same treatment as distributions to the individual taxpayer for the purposes of minimum required distributions.

Are there any IRA transfers to the Door County Community Foundation that do not qualify for preferred tax treatment?

Yes. Transfers to Supporting Organizations and Donor Advised Funds do not qualify. In addition, split interest gifts, such as Charitable Annuities, Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts, do not qualify. Further, an individual may not receive a benefit in return for an IRA distribution.

Because such transfers do not count as qualified distributions under these special rules, the donor will have to first recognize those distributions as income. The donor’s charitable deduction must then be calculated as a regular itemized deduction.

How can an IRA gift be made?

IRAs are typically held by a financial service or trust company. These custodians will likely provide a form that could be used to transfer the IRA directly to charity, with no tax incurred.

The information provided here was prepared by the Council on Foundation and is based on analysis of recent legislation. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the answers to these questions. However, due to the complexity of the tax law and the fact that many of these provisions introduce issues that are new to the Internal Revenue Code, this information may be subject to change. It is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional counsel and we strongly encourage donors to work with their professional advisors to determine the impact of this legislation on their particular situations. This information may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

Giving Made Easy

The fastest growing vehicle for philanthropic giving just revved its engine and experienced one of its best years ever, according to the 2015 Donor Advised Fund Report, an annual study of how Americans use this unique giving tool. In 2014, a year when the U.S. economy as a whole grew by a modest 2.4 percent, the total assets in Donor Advised Funds increased by a staggering 24 percent to nearly $70 billion. Incredibly, last year about 1 out of every 12 dollars donated by an individual to charity went into a Donor Advised Fund.

Donor Advised Funds really took off as a tool for giving during the tech boom of the 1990s. A headline in the New York Times of nearly 20 years ago summed up the role of Donor Advised Funds quite succinctly with, “These Foundations Let Every Family Play Ford.” (Dec. 9, 1997).

Immediate Deduction, Deferred Distributions

You can establish a Donor Advised Fund in your name, your company’s name, or that of a loved one, such as the “John and Jane Smith Charitable Fund.” You then make a contribution into your newly created Fund and claim a tax deduction in the year your charitable gift was made. However, the distributions you make from your fund, commonly referred to as “grants,” can occur to virtually any charity you choose, anywhere in the country, on any timeline that works best for you. This makes a Donor Advised Fund an invaluable tax-planning tool.

For example, let’s say John and Jane’s business had an exceptionally profitable year. As a result, their accountant tells them that this would be a great year in which to make a significant charitable gift. Rather than giving it all away all at once to a single charity, John and Jane want spread their money around many organizations for many years to come. Hence, John and Jane donate $25,000 into their Donor Advised Fund. They can take a commensurate deduction on their 2015 taxes, but that $25,000 is available for John and Jane to make grants to the charities they love in future years. Even better, that $25,000 can be invested and will grow tax free, with all the earnings and appreciation available for any additional grants that John and Jane might choose to make.

Enormous Tax Benefits

Donor Advised Funds are similar to private foundations like the Ford Foundation or the Gates Foundation, but they offer several distinct advantages. You don’t need to have the billions of dollars of the Fords or the Gates to set up a Donor Advised Fund. While a private foundation typically takes millions of dollars of contributions before it is cost effective to operate, a Donor Advised Fund can be created at some organizations for as little as $1,000.

Donor Advised Funds operate under the corporate umbrella of a 501(c)(3) public charity, typically a regional community foundation (like our local Door County Community Foundation) or a national foundation affiliated with an investment company (such as Schwab). Whereas in a private foundation the accounting, administrative and investment costs are borne solely by a single donor, with Donor Advised Funds those expenses are spread out among hundreds if not thousands of funds. Hence, the cost of administering a Donor Advised Fund is typically a tiny fraction of the expense of operating a private foundation.

In addition, Donor Advised Funds are considered “public charities” by the IRS. As a result, donations to a Donor Advised Fund receive preferential tax treatment. For instance, cash contributions to private foundations are limited to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income as opposed to a more generous 50 percent limit for Donor Advised Funds.

The differences are even more pronounced when dealing with gifts of illiquid assets such as real estate. While you can generally claim a deduction of the fair market value of land you donate to your Donor Advised Fund, your deduction is limited to your cost basis – what you originally paid for the land – when you contribute it to a private foundation. The IRS also imposes excise taxes on private foundations and requires minimum distributions – rules which do not apply to Donor Advised Funds. That’s why Donor Advised Funds are known as the simplest, cheapest and most tax-efficient way for a donor to give back to the charities they love.

Making Giving Easy

Perhaps the greatest advantage of a Donor Advised Fund is how easy it makes your charitable giving. Rather than tracking dozens of contributions to different nonprofit organizations during the course of the year, you only need record the one gift you made into your Donor Advised Fund. You receive your deduction for your gift into your Donor Advised Fund, so the subsequent grants to charity you make from your fund have absolutely no impact on your taxes at all.

Donor Advised Funds also make it easier for you to donate appreciated assets. For instance, it is impractical to donate a single share of stock worth $100 to your church on Sunday. However, plenty of donors contribute a block of 100 shares of that same publicly traded stock into their Donor Advised Fund. The donor then generally avoids the capital gains tax, deducts the fair market value of their gift, and finally awards a grant of $100 in the form of a check from their Donor Advised Fund payable to their church on Sunday.

Finally, when you establish a Donor Advised Fund at your local community foundation, you have your own professional philanthropic staff. From the Silicon Valley Community Foundation with its $5 billion to the Door County Community Foundation and our $15 million in assets, each of the more than 750 community foundations across the country have a donor services team that serves as your philanthropic counsel. They are able to bring you ideas, quietly research charities on your behalf, and handle all the investment, accounting and administrative details so all you have to do is decide where you want your money to go.

Nearly $20 billion was donated into Donor Advised Funds last year. It’s the most convenient and flexible tool for giving available today. Visit your local community foundation to learn more, or visit the Door County Community Foundation online at

Bret Bicoy is president & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation. Contact him at the Community Foundation.

(This column originally appeared in the Peninsula Pulse.)

Grants Awarded to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Southern Door Schools

The Door County Community Foundation awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin a Sustainability Grant from the Children & Youth Fund. This grant provides financial assistance to support the development of new One-to-One Youth Mentoring programs at Gibraltar and Washington Island as well as enhance the existing program in Sturgeon Bay.Boys & Girls Club

Big Brothers Big Sisters programs match volunteer mentors with Door County youth. The program is designed to support healthy behaviors and decision-making which leads to positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes. These positive outcomes lead to improved high school graduation rates, the avoidance of juvenile delinquency, readiness for post- secondary educational opportunities, and improved employment opportunities.

“This youth mentoring program is based on a successful model with proven results. The evidence is well documented that these one-to-one relationships cultivate experiences for Door County youth that changes their lives for the better,” said Dick Hauser, Treasurer and board member of the Door County Community Foundation.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin is a donor and volunteer supported nonprofit organization that professionally matches youth with mentors. Since 1972, communities in Northeastern Wisconsin have been enriched by Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission to make a positive difference in the lives of youth through professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships. The program is based on the documented premise that youth need the influence of mature, responsible and supportive mentors during their formative years in order to reach their full potential as adults.

For more information regarding the programs and services provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin, please call 920-498-2227 or visit their website.

The Community Foundation also awarded the Southern Door School District a Sustainability Grant from the Education Fund. This grant provides financial support for the SHIELD program, a district-wide educational program that stands for Students Helping, Involving, Educating, Leading & Deterring.Southern Door Schools

The SHIELD program is a component of a county-wide initiative called Project 180, which is an organization designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices and develop student leaders with the goal of helping fellow students “Jump Above the Influence.” This AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) program encourages students to be strong, bold, and confident in their selves, their school and their community.

“This initiative is unique in its ability to serve Door County students because it is a peer-led program. These student leaders have first-hand knowledge of challenging issues experienced in the schools and, with the help of the SHIELD program, are developing the skills to help themselves and others navigate these situations in a healthy way,” said Polly Alberts, Vice Chair of the Door County Community Foundation.

This SHIELD program has existed in some form for over 15 years with 2 main objectives: 1. To EDUCATE and DETER students from using alcohol or drugs and 2. To INVOLVE students in fun activities and events that are alcohol and drug free. Currently, SHIELD participants gather 4 times a year to share information and plan activities. The two AODA Co-Advisors for SHIELD are Melissa Schley and Brandon Wautier who are both graduates of Southern Door High School and are now on the high school teaching staff.

For more information regarding the SHIELD program, please call Southern Door High School, 920-495-7880, or visit them online.

These are just a few of the grants awarded by the Family of Funds at the Door County Community Foundation. The Community Foundation has several granting programs that offer financial awards to charity from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Education Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, Healthy Water Fund, and the Women’s Fund.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit or contact us. 

List Your Scholarship on the Door County Scholarship Network

The Door County Scholarship Network is now updating its online searchable database for the 2016 scholarship season.

DC Scholarship NetworkThe Scholarship Network is the most comprehensive source for local scholarship information for students from Door County. Students of all ages can use this website to search for scholarships that match their background and educational plans. Whether you’re pursuing a graduate degree, bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a technical certificate, this website is a great place to begin your search for a scholarship.

If you are a scholarship program that provides scholarships to students from any Door County high school, please download and complete the Scholarship Listing Form so we can list your scholarship program in our online database.

There is absolutely no cost for a scholarship program to be listed on this website. In addition, each individual scholarship program will continue to control its own assets, make its own decisions, and award scholarships in their own name. The Scholarship Network’s searchable online database is designed to simplify the search process for the students.

We also encourage you to consider accepting the Door County Common Scholarship Application. This comprehensive form was created by local scholarship programs and guidance counselors. When your scholarship program agrees to accept this common form, you greatly simplify the scholarship application process for our local Door County students.

The Door County Common Scholarship Application is a comprehensive form that collects all the test scores, grades, work experience, volunteerism, etc. that are the same on every scholarship application. It also includes some standard essay questions – yet has ample space (Section 17) for you to ask customized questions of your applicants. If you’re ready to accept the Door County Common Scholarship Application, just indicate so when you complete the Scholarship Listing Form (section 5). If you have questions, please contact Christine Henkel at (920) 746-1786.

Please note that a scholarship program does NOT have to accept the Common Application Form to be listed in this online searchable database. Scholarship programs that continue to use their own application form still are welcome to be listed in our database simply downloading and completing the Scholarship Listing Form. For more information, contact us at the Community Foundation.