News from Interest for Others

An Update from Founder Bill Dolan

To our loyal donors and friends,

The Interest for Others Foundation Board of Directors, Advisory Council and I remain committed to our new way of charitable giving, providing charities a dependable source of financial support. Today’s IFOF website receives donations for 30 Minnesota and 22 South Dakota local charities. Exciting change is occurring at Interest for Others Foundation with movement on many fronts.

Change is afoot
• Mark Greene, IFOF’s President since January 2017, was succeeded on Nov. 29 by Ben Oehler, a founding director. I express huge gratitude to Mark. He improved our website, social media and related marketing, and led IFOF expansion to South Dakota. He developed our all-important bank referral method of donation. Now after 20 months working as a volunteer, Mark will return to work in the business community where his financial technology skills are in great demand. He remains a member of our Board of Directors, committed to IFOF. More gratitude to Ben, who is an accomplished financial executive with special talent in large scale projects. He and I have worked together since 1984.
 
• IFOF continues working with a Minnesota community bank—soon to be announced, and for now called Bank #1—to introduce the IFOF giving program to its online customers. Major progress has been made integrating IFOF and Bank #1 software, with a goal of proving the bank referral method as a simple solution that will be easy-to-use.
 
• H.R. 894, the Interest for Others Act, will be re-introduced in 2019, with improvements. Congress was unwilling to tackle more tax legislation soon after the major Internal Revenue Code rewrite in December 2017. Now our bill is timely. It uniquely offers a charitable deduction even for those taxpayers using the increased standard deduction, and will save banks’ 1099 processing costs. Enactment of the bill is desired, but non-essential, to IFOF’s program.

Complexities abound
When this seemingly Quixotic endeavor began in 2013, I underestimated the challenges. The IFOF vision is recognized for its benefits to local charities, and its potential to improve banks’ community engagement. The “why” of our giving program has never been in doubt; but the “how” is complex. It requires deep financial technology expertise, and banks’ participation. The sought-after donors to local charities exist; they have shown willingness to donate their earned interest directly on IFOF’s website; but lacking a major marketing campaign, the current website has produced modest numbers of users, and charitable contributions. However, we have created an effective site for making donations which is now ready and in place for our next steps with bank partners.
 
In the years 2013-2016, IFOF worked to develop its giving program in cooperation with US Bank. Conversations with US Bank and other major banks continue. After Bank #1 is launched, our newly gained knowledge will be shared.

Please consider a donation to Interest for Others Foundation
IFOF’s finances are adequate for the remainder of this year, but our needs will grow in 2019 when we launch Bank #1. Our directors remain a generous source of financial support, with one offering a $50,000 matching gift, good until 12/31/2018.  The regular pro bono services furnished by our public accountants CliftonLarsonAllen, and our lawyers, Ballard Spahr and Briggs and Morgan, are irreplaceable.  
 
If you will re-commit to supporting IFOF, a contribution in any amount will be gratefully received. Our address remains P.O. Box 2125, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or you may donate to IFOF online at interestforothers.org