Growing more than crops through

Fields of Opportunity

At Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, we recognize how important locally-owned, tillable farmland is to the long-term financial stability of our rural communities in southeastern Illinois. We also recognize the value of farmland as a vehicle for charitable giving. That’s why Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation launched Fields of Opportunity, a farmland giving program.

As a landowner, you are deeply and personally connected to your farmland. It is not just an asset, it is an important part of your way of life. Knowing that an outright gift of land would more than likely be sold off by a charity is not an attractive option for some. If you share this belief and have charitable intentions, Fields of Opportunity offers a way to keep your assets in production and under local ownership. It also allows you to leave a legacy to benefit local charities that make your hometown a stronger and better place to live.

Our farmland giving program benefits all involved:

Landowners receive a tax deduction for the charitable portion of the gift, bypass capital gains taxes, and reduce potential estate tax liability. It is also possible to create a stable revenue source for the remainder of your lifetime and benefit your favorite charities. You can make a gift during your lifetime, leave a gift through a Will or Trust, or by creating a life estate. And by gifting your land to the Community Foundation, you can avoid selling tracts of land to meet the five percent IRS payout requirement for private foundations and trusts. The Community Foundation is classified as a public charity and, therefore, is not subject to this distribution requirement.

Tenants continue renting the land and invest wealth generated by the land in local organizations and projects.

Your Hometown -- Once the gift of land has been made, the Community Foundation retains ownership of the land and manages the asset. Revenue from the farmland is used for the benefit of our region and its communities as agreed by the donor and the Community Foundation.

Your County maintains tax base, as the Community Foundation continues paying property taxes on the land.

The Community Foundation established "Fields of Opportunity" farmland giving program after working with the Ray, Mary, and Tim Niebrugge farmland trust. Read their story and contact us if you feel inspired to make a gift of farmland with the Community Foundation.