Community Giving

Bob and JoAnn Thueringer

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As Bob and JoAnn Thueringer approached retirement, they began talking about creating a way to share the value of giving with their three children and three grandchildren.

At the end of last year, their professional advisor suggested an opportunity they could not pass up. Federal and state tax law changes made donating stock favorable from a financial perspective, and a donor advised fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation would provide a vehicle to allow them to decide where to donate the dollars on their own timing.

Days before the end of the year, the couple established the Bob and JoAnn Thueringer Family Fund. "It gives us an opportunity to think about what we want our legacy to be," said Bob, who retired as Chief Operating Officer from Coborn's Inc. in the spring of 2014 after 47 years with the family-owned grocery chain. Bob joined the company in 1967 as a bagger to work his way through college at St. Cloud State University.

The growing needs of the community, and the changing tax landscape, is generating an increased level of giving, said Melinda Sanders, director of donor relations at the Community Foundation.

"We are seeing more and more people leverage highly appreciated property such as stocks or mutual funds to do significant good in the community by creating a charitable fund that will impact future generations in our community," Sanders said.

A donor advised fund makes it easy for individuals like the Thueringers to choose the charities they want to support and distribute donations through an online donor portal. "It's a more organized way of doing it," said JoAnn, who retired as a nurse with CentraCare Health System in 2013. "It makes it so much easier to give."

The couple plans to grow the fund over time and one day turn over responsibility to their children - Matt, Beth and Chris. "They will inherit the stewardship of these funds," Bob said. "I hope our grandchildren can see the benefits and value of having this kind of disciplined thought process for giving."

It's a value both Bob and JoAnn learned from their parents, and one they now share with their children and grandchildren.