Celebrate the Season, and Give Twice!

When I first came back to Oregon, after living in Glasgow and in New Zealand, I had the great pleasure of working as the Manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Trust, it is (in my opinion) one of the crowning acheivements of our state. This is an important time for cultural non-profits, and we need your help.

Here is the low-down from the Trust’s website:

“The Cultural Trust is a statewide cultural plan to raise significant new funds to invest in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage. Funds will be distributed to local communities to support their cultural priorities, through competitive grants for projects of regional and statewide significance, and through grants to Oregon’s statewide cultural agencies to support their ongoing efforts.

The Oregon Cultural Trust was created by civic, business and cultural leaders to preserve and strengthen every aspect of Oregon culture. Its goal is to create a protected endowment of over $200 million to provide long-term support for culture in Oregon. While the endowment grows, the Trust will invest in:

  • Grants to county and tribal planning groups for cultural activities and priorities, helping them shape programs that increase access to culture.
  • Grants to expand and stabilize cultural organizations throughout the state.
  • Funding for cultural agencies to strengthen programs and support new partnerships (our partner agencies are the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Council for the Humanities, the Oregon Heritage Commission, the Oregon Historical Society and the State Historic Preservation Office)

Supporting Oregon’s culture makes practical sense. As an investment, it creates vibrant communities by strengthening the economy, improving education, and bettering our quality of life. This is an important time for the Oregon Cultural Trust.

In the next few weeks, the Trust will be reaching out to Oregonians and asking them to make a contribution to support our state’s unique cultural life and heritage. As you may know, the Trust has a goal of raising $3 million and dramatically increasing the number of donors from across the state by December 31st.

In the coming weeks, as we all spend time with our families, enjoy seasonal performances and visit our most cherished venues and historic locations, we are asking that you take the time to make a donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

And in most cases, your donation will ultimately cost you absolutely nothing.

How? Through a tax credit on your state income tax for contributions to the Trust (keep in mind a tax credit is different than a tax deduction. Your tax bill is literally reduced by the amount of the credit!). To earn the tax credit:

First, make a donation to your favorite Oregon cultural non-profit (Bag&Baggage, anyone?). A list of qualifying 501(c)(3) non-profits is available at www.culturaltrust.org.

Second, make an equal or greater contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust online at www.culturaltrust.org.

Finally, claim your 100%, dollar for dollar tax credit for your gift to the Trust on your Oregon state income tax (up to $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples filing jointly and $2,500 for Oregon Corporations).

Supporting Oregon’s culture couldn’t be easier or more important. To learn more simply visit the website or contact the Trust via email at cultural.trust@state.or.us or by phoning 503 986 0088.