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Capital Campaign

Phase One, and Done!


            On January 17, 2019, the Hampden Historical Society took occupancy of its new two-story archival wing.  It was an incredibly exciting day and we can hardly wait to show it off come spring.  Volunteers have started the work of setting up the new Archive space as well as cleaning and rearranging displays within the Kinsley House Museum in time to welcome visitors when opening day for the season is upon us in April.  We invite you to watch for details of a grand celebration to officially open the new Archive wing in late spring.


         In the meantime, however, there is more to be accomplished.  We still need to raise an additional $59,000 in order to complete our campaign goal, but we are very close to having raised what we need to complete the construction portion of Phase II.  It is our hope to begin that construction as soon as the weather allows this spring.

            If you have not yet given or if you would like to make an additional donation to assure that we are able to complete Phase II this spring, your donation right now would be especially significant.  In addition to payment by check, we accept gifts of stock and can accept credit card donations through Paypal on our website:

            The HHS Board of Directors and Capital Campaign Committee extend their heartfelt thanks to our general contractor Jeff Brown for his unwavering commitment to our project, and to our volunteers, donors and supporters.  Together we are a community of like-minded individuals who care deeply about the Town of Hampden – our home town.


Our History Lives Here

New Kinsley House archival wing

Important information on donations


Did you know that you can donate to the Hampden Historical Society (HHS) directly from your IRA and not pay tax on the distribution? If you are over age 70½ and need to take your annual minimum distribution from your IRA, read the following brief article about Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), and talk to your financial professional about donating to HHS with a QCD from your IRA!

Qualified Charitable Distributions: The Sterling Silver Path to Philanthropy!
Seventy is one of those “zero year” birthdays that sneaks up and surprises! Many find 70 a freeing age with more time to focus on cherished life goals such as family, friends, pursuing passions, and supporting causes that inspire us. Yet, while life in the “silver lane” can be grand, for many it is downright irritating to discover that IRA assets must start to be distributed once one reaches the age of 70 1/2. It is one thing to choose to withdraw IRA assets, pay the income tax and use the remainder to enjoy life. It is a rude awakening to be denied choice as a result of a birthday. Some present!

Still, for the charitably inclined, there is a silver lining of sorts. IRA owners who have reached the age of 70 ½ can give qualified charities their annual required minimum distribution (RMD) up to an annual limit of $100,000 without recognizing the IRA distribution as income. This direct gifting of one’s RMD is called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), and it is a big deal. For example, let’s assume fictional Irene has just turned 70½. She has an IRA rollover account, and must take a RMD of $35,000. Until this year, she only withdrew $20,000 annually from her IRA. Now the law requires her to withdraw $35,000 RMD. If she places the entire RMD amount in her checking account, it will be taxed as ordinary income. Assuming Irene is charitably inclined, she may instead make a direct distribution(s) to charity of all or part of the $15,000 that exceeded her customary withdrawal without recognizing it as income.

Why is this a big deal? For most, it is now the only way to make a tax advantaged gift to charity. While charitable deductions technically survived the 2017 year-end tax act, for most taxpayers, itemized deductions will be of limited or no benefit. Let’s assume Irene is married to Joe. They file a joint tax return; and for 2018, they will receive a standard deduction of $24,000. In Maine, itemized deductions have largely been comprised of state and local taxes. Under the new tax law, state and local property and income taxes are deductible only up to a $10,000 ceiling. Consequently, many taxpayers, especially married taxpayers, will never accumulate enough itemized deductions to surpass the standard deduction of $24,000.

While many studies show that people will continue to give to the causes they hold close to heart regardless of the tax benefit, it is always nice to be rewarded for doing good. For those who rankle at RMD rules that force them to take IRA distributions simply because they have reached a certain age, the QCD is welcome relief. By exercising a QCD, the power of social impact is returned directly to the hands of the donor with no bureaucratic intermediary. Thus, for many who give, 70 may be the new coming of age after all.

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