Published Sep 7, 2010

It’s official: PFI has an endowment

By Teresa Opheim

I just mailed off some very important paperwork for PFI: The financial papers that mean Practical Farmers of Iowa, co-founded by Dick and Sharon Thompson, will be around for years to come.

Last Tuesday, the PFI Board officially voted to put $100,000 of our reserves into endowments created through the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. What a fitting step for the Board to take in 2010, the 25th anniversary of Practical Farmers of Iowa!

The PFI endowments will be funds held permanently and invested to generate income for PFI. One endowment is called the “Practical Farmers of Iowa Endow Iowa Fund.” Donors to this fund receive a significant tax advantage–a 25 percent Endow Iowa tax credit in addition to their normal federal income tax deductions. The other fund is called the “Practical Farmers of Iowa Endowment.” This fund is more flexible on return of the principal, but it does not offer the same tax advantage to donors as the Endow Iowa fund.

I’m so pleased the Board took this decision, because the PFI endowments will offer many benefits: Endowments encourage gift making. They create an ongoing source of income to help with operating expenses, when needed. They also may provide us, in the future, a measure of independence from economic, governmental, and political forces.

Most importantly: The PFI endowments let everyone know that PFI is fiscally responsible–and here for a future of:
Food that is celebrated for its freshness and flavor…
Farms that are prized for their diversity, their wildlife and healthy soils…
Communities alive with diverse connections between farmers and nonfarmers…
Places where the working landscape, the fresh air and the clean water remind us of all that is good about Iowa.