What’s That? Oak Galls

This time of year, acorns large and small start to rain down all around MAGC, keeping the squirrels busy and the rest of us on our guard. You may have noticed some other, more unusual objects growing on and falling from our oaks: oak galls, sometimes called oak apples. Their rounded shape and surprisingly light weight makes them immediately appealing to kids, although according to some childhood lore they are poisonous. Not true! They are the tree’s response to specific species of wasps, which lay their eggs in a developing part of the tree, causing the gall to develop around the growing larvae, protecting them and providing a source of food. More intriguing still, the exact process by which the insects prompt the host plants to produce the galls is not fully understood. Oak apples are just one of a huge range of different types of gall that can form on almost any part of the plant, and can even be quite beautiful. In the photo here, you can see how—somehow—a gall has grown around a small stone, an even more unusual example of this interaction between insects and plants.

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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