- UMaine Needs Your Support
- Student Crisis Fund
- Foundation Working Remotely
- Creating Planning Documents During a Pandemic
- The CARES Act & Charitable Giving
Our number one concern is that you and your family are safe and healthy.
This is a challenging time for everyone. Many of our alumni and friends have asked us what they can do to help. In these times, we come together to help where we can. The University of Maine will be facing tremendous financial challenges going forward, any gift that you make will help.
During these times of extraordinary need, Congress has made it easier to make charitable gifts in 2020. Under the CARES Act, even individuals who do not itemize will be allowed to claim a deduction of up to $300 for qualified charitable contributions. Under this new law, non-itemizing donors could receive this deduction in addition to the standard deduction.
Thank you for your consideration and take care,
Jeffery N. Mills ’82, Ph.D., President/CEO
University of Maine Foundation
To make a gift or to read the complete fundraising timeline: our.umaine.edu/crisisfund
As of July 6, 2020 over $179,000 has been raised for the Student Crisis Fund, established by the University of Maine Foundation.
5.5.20 NEW MATCH!
Now that we are further into sorting out the continuing needs for our students and other grant money has been made available, we are faced with finding more support for students who are not eligible for the other grants. The Student Crisis Fund is a critical resource for these students. To get us started in funding these additional needs, we have another $25,000 matching gift from anonymous donors.
The fund is used to provide emergency assistance for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Maine or any of its outreach centers or its regional campus for which the student has no other source of funds.
The fund was motivated by a decision announced on Wednesday, March 11, by Chancellor Malloy and President Ferrini-Mundy to shift UMaine to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This decision immediately impacted thousands of UMaine students and their transition to remote learning on March 25.
Due to this upheaval at UMaine and requests from people who would like to help, Foundation staff initiated an early start to the traditional Maine Day of Giving and will raise funds through Maine Day, April 29, with a focus on the Student Crisis Fund in order to provide time-sensitive financial relief to UMaine students.
Student Crisis Fund Distribution Information
The Student Crisis Fund was advertised via the University of Maine COVID website, through the Deans and Directors, departments such as international programs and by word of mouth. It was also announced in announcements made by the President via email and town hall.
Funds are provided to pay for COVID-related current emergency expenses only such as rent, living expenses, internet, food, etc. As of mid-April:
Over 400 requests have been received and funded so far through an application process with Student Life.
The requests were anywhere from $100 to $10,000. The maximum grant was $1,000 and many grants were in the $200.00 to $500.00 range.
Over $120,000 has been distributed and more will continue to be distributed on a case by case basis.
Working with Student Life, Foundation staff are compiling some of the very grateful thank you messages which have been received from students. The sentiments will be shared during Maine Day, which would have included our Maine Day of Giving event which was moved ahead to focus on fundraising for the Student Crisis Fund.
This fund has been a lifeline for many current Black Bears. Thank you to everyone who was able to support the fund.
The University of Maine Continues to Serve Throughout the Crisis
The University of Maine Foundation is prepared to continue to serve you and the University of Maine community during this difficult and uncertain period.
As we all work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the health of our alumni, friends and community are of the utmost importance. Fortunately, the Foundation is working to continue to address the needs of our alumni and friends with the same quality service you expect, while also respecting the public health needs of our employees and our community.
Today, we implemented a work-remotely policy for the foreseeable future. Buchanan Alumni House and our Falmouth office will be closed during this time, but we will continue to have meetings as needed via phone or video conferencing. We will have team members answering our telephones, receiving mail and processing gifts. For your safety and the safety of our employees, we feel this is the best course of action. While working remotely, the Foundation and its employees are active, engaged, and working as hard as ever on your behalf.
The virus response nationally, locally, and in our buildings is evolving daily. During this period we will remain vigilant and steadfast in addressing the challenges. If you have any questions about our preparedness, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 207-735-4125.
Please be safe and take steps to protect yourselves, your family, and the general public in the days ahead.
Jeffery N. Mills
Maine CDC update page: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml
We face uncertain and chaotic times. Perhaps, we also have more time on our hands given our efforts to observe social-distancing guidelines or shelter-in-place-orders. Whatever the exact reason, Google has reported that more people are searching for information about how to create a will than ever before. There has also been an increased interest in preparing lifetime documents such as advance health care directives and powers of attorney.
In March of 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act which provides new tax incentives to support giving at all levels:
- New Charitable Deduction for Non-Itemizers:
Most taxpayers now take the standard deduction on their federal income taxes rather than itemizing their deductions. The CARES Act allows donors to deduct up to $300 ($600 for married couples filing jointly) in cash gifts to qualified charities (like the UMaine Foundation) and still take the standard deduction amount. This does not apply to gifts to donor-advised funds.
Example: If you are a single taxpayer under the age of 65 and your itemized deductions for 2020 would total $7,500, you would probably claim the standard deduction of $12,400 for the year. If you give at least $300 in cash to qualifying charities during 2020, you can elect the standard deduction of $12,400 and also deduct $300 for a total deduction of $12,700.
- Increased Deduction Limits:
Individuals, in 2020, will be able to deduct cash gifts to qualified charities up to their entire adjusted gross income (up from 60% for 2019). Gifts to donor-advised funds do not qualify. The unused amount of a deduction may still be carried forward and used to the extent available in carryover years. Corporations, in 2020, may deduct up to 25% of pre-tax income (up from 10% for 2019).
Donors with multi-year pledges may choose to accelerate the payment of their pledge balance in 2020 in order to use their charitable deduction more quickly.
- Required Minimum Distributions Waived for 2020:
The SECURE Act, enacted in December 2019, increased the age at which IRA owners are required to take minimum distributions from 70½ years to 72 years. Under the CARES Act, required minimum distributions (RMD) from retirement accounts are suspended for 2020 regardless of the age of the owner. The rationale was to allow owners to reduce the amount they must take from accounts that may have been hard hit by market losses.
Those age 70½ or over may still make a tax-free transfer from an IRA directly to a charity through a qualified charitable distribution. The annual limit for such transfers remains $100,000 per year. Direct distributions to charity are not included in taxable income.
Cases for support can be found here:
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