As 2019 comes to a close, good Samaritans can make a check out, twice, to two local causes.

Tax deductible donations to nonprofit organizations like The Den in Minneola and the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credits program will keep local funds in the Ford County region.

The Den, a youth center located on Main Street since 2009, is soliciting donations for a $260,000 renovation of the existing building and surrounding outdoor area.

The Den provides children a safe after-school hang-out area but suffered a fire years ago and now has issues with black mold in the basement.

Donors will receive a 70% community service tax credit through the Department of Commerce, project coordinator Kathleen Holt said.

“What is so cool is that in addition to renovating the inside of the building, the city is donating the outdoor space for renovation so that youth can conduct projects inside and out,” Holt said.

Currently that space is home to the city’s new Nativity scene.

“It’s going to mean so much to the kids and they use it so much,” Minneola Mayor Carol Sibley said. “It’ll be healthier for the kids and we want to make it good for our community.”

Donors who share Joann Knight’s ideas for making Dodge City an anchor in the rural education network, can support the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.

As the executive director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, Knight encourages donors to take advantage of $2 million in tax credits the center receives from the state every year to sell for donation credits.

Donors get a 75% tax credit.

Knight enrolled her city in the center’s NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurial Program and the Entrepreneurship Community Partnership in 2011.

“They bring education out here for existing businesses who want to put their businesses together,” she said.

Dodge City is the only Small Business Development Center located in an Economic Development Corporation without a higher education institute, Knight said, so programs like the annual Ford County Youth Entrepreneurship Competition, as well as free business education seminars at Hennessy Hall, are vital steps to the education of a growing workforce.

Those courses will one day be broadcast free to other frontier communities set up for distance learning, Knight said.

Donations to the center provide funding for entrepreneurship programs and matching loans through providers who are also NetWork Kansas resource partners.

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit against state income tax liability. That means that for every $1,000 donated, donors will receive $750 credit directly off their income tax liability, Knight said.

Donors are also eligible to receive a federal and state tax deduction and should consult with their individual tax specialist to determine the amount of any deductions.

“We can absolutely assure it stays local,” said Erik Pedersen, vice president of entrepreneurship at NetWork Kansas.

Checks must be postmarked by Dec. 31.

For more information about how to donate to The Den, contact Holt at 620-338-1493.

For more information about Network Kansas, visit www.networkkansas.com. Make checks payable to the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.

Contact Knight at 620-227-9501 or email her at jknight@dodgedev.org. Contact Pedersen at 316-425-8841 or email him at epedersen@networkkansas.com.