Gifts from private foundations to field of interest funds, designated funds, and other funds that are not donor advised, are entirely permissible and do not raise special concerns. Gifts to a donor-advised fund can raise red flags as a potential donor control issue. The law does not prohibit gifts from private foundations to donor advised funds, nor does it exclude such gifts from being treated as qualifying distributions.
Corporate Philanthropy refers to the investments and activities a company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society. It includes investments of money, donations of products, in-kind services and technical assistance, employee volunteerism, and other business transactions to advance a social cause, issue, or the work of a nonprofit organization. Corporate foundations and corporate giving programs traditionally play a major role in these areas.
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When donors to scholarship funds see the impact that their money can have on the life of a student, they are often inspired to contribute more. Sometimes they will add more to the principal of the fund so that future awardees can receive bigger scholarships or more scholarships can be awarded. Where investment losses have reduced the value of the scholarship fund and the amount available to pay out, donors may wish to round up the year’s grants.
Moved by widely publicized human suffering and increased disaster aid requests, foundations and corporations are becoming more active in the disaster relief field. Grantmakers have a distinct role to play in disasters because of their ongoing relations with grantees, long-term perspective, flexibility and convening capacity.
Responding to requests from the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector, the Internal Revenue Service on December 4, 2006 issued interim guidance on several of the donor-advised fund issues arising from the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The IRS notice is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-06-109.pdf.
Americans may disagree about various aspects of war, but there is broad support for helping the men and women who are fighting in wars and the families they have left behind. Dedicated assistance groups are working to provide aid to military personnel and their relatives. This article surveys the different purposes for which charitable grants can be made and discusses the role that grantmakers can play in those efforts.
Ideally, grantmakers will work with an existing charity or other well-established organization to provide disaster relief. But in the months after a disaster, it is not uncommon to see new charities cropping up in efforts to meet the immense and diverse needs of the affected communities. The problem is that it may take many months before a new organization is officially eligible to receive charitable contributions. Generally, an organization is not considered to be a public charity until it has a determination letter from the IRS stating that its public charity status has been recognized.
The private foundation executive director was concerned. Members of her board were going to make grants to promote public housing and economic development but none of the groups involved were the typical 501(c)(3)s to which the foundation normally made grants. One possibility seemed to be making a grant to a local government agency, but the agency had no IRS tax-exemption letter. Would the foundation have to exercise expenditure responsibility?
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, corporate grantmakers often wish to address the needs of employees and the community at large. Grantmakers must understand the legal rules that govern disaster grantmaking. Below are the answers to many common questions on providing disaster relief.
Although this information provides the legal context for corporate grantmakers' response to disasters, corporations and their foundations should always review their particular approach with knowledgeable legal counsel.
Why is the qualified disaster designation important?
- What are the administrative/legal requirements for matching gift programs?
- Is there a minimum or maximum to the corporation's or foundation's match?
- Are there any gifts that should not be matched?
- What kind of gifts can the corporation or foundation match?
- What about matching gifts to foreign charities?
Corporate grantmakers regularly serve the broader community through grantmaking, promoting employee volunteerism, and other activities. When may a corporate grantmaking entity focus its charitable efforts on assisting its own employees and their dependents?
The answer to this question depends on two variables: the type of corporate grantmaker offering assistance and the type of assistance offered. This article reviews the framework for determining what type of assistance is permitted and provides links to other more detailed resources on this topic.