What’s That? A Hornets’ Nest

If you stop in at the MAGC office, be sure to take a look at our range of materials about the various programs and activities we feature on our bookshelf. While you’re browsing, you might notice a peculiar object on top of the shelf, resembling a bark football. That, friends, is a baldface hornets’ nest, which was removed from a tree some years ago. It is truly a marvel of construction, layer upon layer of swirled papery tissue. You can even see the branch at the center of the nest. The queen hornet chews up old wood to a pulp, which she uses to create the initial cells in which she lays her eggs. Once her offspring hatch, they continue the work of building the nest where the queen continues to lay eggs, until it can house a colony of hundreds of hornets. While they can sting, baldface hornets are hardly pests. They gather nectar from flowers, doing the same pollinating work that honeybees do. Perhaps even more admirable, they prey on their own cousins, yellowjackets, to feed the growing larvae in their nest. There is another nest in the Dawn Redwood, above the gazebo, but it’s very high up in the tree. See if you can spot it—a welcome tenant on our grounds.

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IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center