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Gifts of Grain

Give Grain Directly and Save Taxes

Paint Smudge Line

Gifting Guide


Gifts of grain can be donated from the current or previous years' harvests.

Unsold Commodity

The farmer cannot sell the commodity and then order the sales proceeds to be sent to the charity. The gift must be from unsold grain inventory with no prior sale commitment.

Physical Delivery

The commodity should be put into the name of the charity when it is delivered to the elevator and a warehouse receipt issued in the name of the charity. For grain stored on the farm, the farmer must deliver to the charity a notarized letter of transfer.

Retention of control

The farmer must give up dominion and control over the commodity and cannot offer any guidance as to when to sell the commodity. The charity must direct the sale and the original sales invoice must list the charity as the seller.

Storage, Transportation, and risk

After the transfer, the charity assumes the costs of storage, transportation, and marketing, and bears the risk of any loss.

Crop Share Leases

A crop share landlord's share of crops is considered rental income and must be reported as such on the landlord's tax return.

For donors who actively engage in farming on a cash basis, significant tax savings may be achieved by donating grain directly to the University of Northern Iowa rather than selling the grain and donating cash.

Why Donate Grain:

Many farmers take the standard deduction, often no tax benefit is gained by making charitable gifts of cash. By directly donating grain to charity; however, the cash basis farmers can exclude the sale of grain from income, which can result in a triple tax savings:

  1. Federal income tax savings (up to 37%);
  2. State income tax savings (up to 8.98% in Iowa); and
  3. Self-employment tax savings (15.3%)

How To Donate:

  1. Notify the University of Northern Iowa Foundation of your intent to make a gift of grain and request your Gift of Grain packet by calling 319-273-7118 or toll-free at 800-782-9522 of download the Gift of Grain packet.
  2. Deliver your grain donation to the elevator and tell them you wish to transfer ownership of X number of bushels or a fraction of a load to UNI Foundation. Request that the storage receipt be made out to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation.
  3. Notify us that the grain is at the elevator. UNI will then contact the elevator to direct the sale and send you an acknowledgement letter.

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