Maggie Tinsman on giving in a way that “rolls over” forever


“When you are a part of a community, you contribute to the community. It adds quality to your life,” said Quad Cities Community Foundation Donor Maggie Tinsman. “The community has given a lot to me and now is the time for me to give back to it.”

Did you know?

Through the tool of IRA rollover gifts to the Community Foundation, you can start designated endowments. Maggie has established a legacy by setting up designated endowments for her community and the organizations that are important to her. Today, she supports organizations like:

  • 50-50 in 2020

  • American Lung Association

  • Braking Traffik

  • Family Resources

  • Figge Art Museum

  • Iowa Legal Aid Foundation

  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra

  • Pleasant Valley Schools

  • St. Ambrose University

  • United Way of the Quad Cities

  • University of Iowa

  • Vera French Foundation

  • WVIK

  • …and the Quad Cities Community Foundation!

Tinsman and her late-husband Hovey have been part of the Community Foundation for many, many years, first establishing a scholarship for graduates of Pleasant Valley High School. “Hovey and I always felt that education was very important—that it is important to get additional education after high school so you can have a higher quality of life,” she said.  

It was their first interaction with the Community Foundation—an interaction that has paved the way to a long-term philanthropic partnership.

After her husband passed away, Tinsman decided to start another scholarship fund with the gifts people gave in memory of Hovey’s life. Since their founding, 18 scholarships and more than $16,500 has been awarded to area students who have gone on to continue their education after high school.

At the end of 2018, Tinsman made a new gift—a charitable IRA rollover to be specific—which she used to establish a new scholarship for the arts. She likes to give to a variety of different areas in the community, including women’s programs, culture, social services, health and education. “Through the Community Foundation, I am able to make contributions that will last a lifetime,” she said.

Charitable IRA rollovers like the gift Tinsman made allows donors to direct up to $100,000 from their traditional IRA to charity tax-free. This gift option is open to donors age 70½ and older who have a traditional IRA, and it counts toward your required minimum distribution (the amount a person over that age must withdraw each year). Rollover gifts can be designated to the Community Impact Fund to provide for the comprehensive needs and opportunities of our Quad Cities community, to a field of interest fund, a designated fund or scholarship fund.

Iowa residents may also be eligible for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit for 25 percent of the amount of your gift. 

Giving looks different during different seasons of your life, Tinsman noted. “Contributing your time is worth money and I encourage people to volunteer because it is so important,” said Tinsman, a former Iowa Senator and Scott County Supervisor. “You plan in your life when you can volunteer, and then you adjust during different seasons.” 

Encouraging women to participate in public service has long been a passion for Tinsman, who teamed up with Senator Jean-Lloyd Jones to promote public service in elected politics for women through an initiative called 50-50. It was designed to achieve political equity for women in Iowa by the year 2020.

“There are certain times in your life when you can do more volunteering,” she said. “There are many women working outside the home now and raising children and where do they fit in volunteering? You can only do so much.”

But even small acts of service, including volunteering at your child’s school, or a charity you are passionate about, can make a difference. “And then you find something you’re really passionate about and you contribute monetarily if and when you can,” she added.

Tinsman, who is a mother and grandmother, said one of the best ways to teach generosity is by setting an example. “My own children are giving too, and I think it’s probably because they saw their parents do it,” she said. 

And generosity, Tinsman noted, is always a two-way street. 

“The reason to contribute is not just to make your life better, but the community you live and work in better,” she said. “It makes you feel more worthwhile because people invested in you, and you in them.” 

Though her contributions have been many, Tinsman said she is not alone. “I feel that I’m a very small part of the contributions to the life of our community where things have gotten better,” she said. “I’m always looking for quality of life to get better and it takes a lot of people to work together to make change.”

Melanie JonesDonors, Scholarship