A Helping Hand

We operate the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center as a community resource according to our Mission Statement. We rely on the generosity of so many friends in the community to keep us going, whether that’s supplying our summer school instructors with resources, bringing in engaging speakers for our Nature for Life series, or just keeping the lights on. We hope you will consider the SMINC as a part of your own charitable giving. You can donate through our safe, and secure electronic donation portal here.

Or, if you want to donate by check, checks may be written to “Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center” or “Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park” and mailed to PO Box 241, Lake Elmo, MN 55042. Contributions will be acknowledged by letter. 

Other donation options to consider:

Appreciated stock

If you sell company stock that is worth more than you paid for it, the gain is taxed at short-term or long-term capital gains rates. If you instead donate the shares without selling them, the entire fair market value can be claimed as an itemized deduction, reducing your adjusted gross income and possibly your marginal tax rate (percentage rate on the highest part of your income). Donations may be made as paper stock certificates or as electronic transfers.
The Friends account for stock donations is carried at Cetera, Lake Elmo Bank location. For information contact Steve Madsen, 651-773-4758, We pledge to provide your acknowledgement letter in a timely manner, but you need to tell us how many shares you donate, and when, because such information is not always transmitted properly via the electronic transfer mechanism. For further information you may wish to contact your own tax advisor or preparer.

Donor Advised Funds

If you have transferred money to a Donor Advised Fund (such as Fidelity Charitable or a community foundation) the tax advantage has already been recorded, now all you need to do is to direct that a portion of the fund be given to the Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park (EIN 81-4091601) and the nature center will benefit.

Individual Retirement Account

(IRA) or 401(k) plans force you to make an annual Required Minimum Distribution beginning at age 70 1/2. If this distribution in taken in cash, it is taxed as ordinary income at your marginal tax rate. If it is donated, the amount can be taken as a tax deduction, and reduces your adjusted gross income and your tax liability. Request that part of your required minimum distribution be taken as a check to donate to “Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center”

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